Microsoft announced a new web site yesterday that tries to guess the age of people in images. Well guess is probably not the right word. I’m sure the researchers behind it would prefer calculate or deduce or something like that. It’s still underdevelopment and the results it gives are often not close – though often they are. The site is How-Old.net and you will probably want to try it out yourself.
Plan A is to show this to the students in my Explorations in Computer Science course. Their reactions when they try it with their images will be interesting. Some of the guesses are twice their real age. Some are right on the money though. I anticipate an interesting discussion about the state of the art of face recognition.
It turns out that this page is an example of what can be done with Project Oxford. Project Oxford is “an evolving portfolio of REST APIs and SDKs enabling developers to easily add intelligent services into their solutions to leverage the power of Microsoft’s natural data understanding.” In other words other people can create applications that use these services for face detection and recognition, recognize speech and understand images in various ways. That sounds exciting to me. I can’t fit it into my one semester programming class (boy do I wish I had a post AP CS course to teach. :-))
I’m going to look into it for some personal projects though. Just as soon as I finish what is already on my plate. Famous last words.