21.4.17

Corporate AI

The internet is buzzing about a tool that one can use to supposedly determine how old they look. It supposedly uses "a proprietary blend of deep learning" and other AI buzz words.

Many are gushing about how amazing and magical this tool supposedly is so I thought I'd give it a try and see how it works.


I first poke it around to see if it even does recognize faces at all. It does.

Then I upload a picture of me from 10 years ago. It tells me that my perfectly smooth, spot-free baby-bottomed skin looks 37 years old. Fine. Whatever. Good thing I'm almost 33 and I no longer care what I looked like when I was 22 but I could imagine how a 22 year old might feel if some praised algorithm tells her that she looks 15 years older than she does.

Then I upload a photo of me with a very unimpressed look on my face from when I was 28 years old and the tool tells me that it seems like I'm smiling, which might affect my results. Surely enough, the tool decides that I must be 51 years old.

The next photo I upload is one of me smiling that I took last year.  It is taken only a few days before my 32nd birthday.

I have man hands but I don't look old

This time the tool doesn't detect a smile even though I'm clearly smiling on the photo below. Finally, the tool correctly identifies me as a 32 year old. Phew!


The tool also claims that my problem area is my mouth where I'm smiling. Double aha!

What this means is the tool somehow depends on dark pixels in crucial areas of the face where wrinkles are supposed to form. So I draw a few crude wrinkles on my forehead and lo and behold:


Interestingly enough, it still considers my forehead to be my best, most well preserved feature but it had bumped my age by 5 years. So I add some crude crow's feet.

Note: it doesn't matter how I answer the accompanying questions, the age result is only based on my photo.


Another Note: all images I fed to the tool were taken with the exact same camera (because I hoard electronics)

Clearly, the main purpose of the tool is to sell cosmetics by making people feel bad about themselves.

It is unethical to describe this tool as anything more than hype.