Inspired by Ian’s musing about the difficulty that machines have an automatically identifying photographs of him, I gave the Face.com demo a try with a photo I took of myself, and here’s the result:
My possible age range, according to Face.com, with 95% confidence, is 25 to 42. Given my recently-turned-46-ness, this can only be good. It got my denger, glasses-wearing, lips and mood correct (I am about 15% angry right now!).
You can try the Face.com demo yourself: it’s not immediately clear how you do this, but it’s actually pretty simple. Just find a recent photo with your face in it on your computer, then click on the “Upload Photo” link on the lefthand side of the demo and select the photo; then click “Call Method” and once the process is complete, hover your mouse over the face it’s likely detected for your stats.
While this is an impressive feat of technology, I hope your creepiness-sensors are going off as you ponder the possibilities here: all those photos you’re uploading to Facebook — it’s now easy for Facebook to automatically detect the age, gender and mood of your friends and family and use this to further hone your demographic slot. “Oh,” says the machine, “Ann’s got a grandson now — let’s start promoting Toys-R-Us to her!”.