Some scientists in Australia have developed a computer program that takes a photo of a woman’s face, and ranks her “beauty” on a scale from 1 to 10 with a +/- 1.5 point margin of error. They believe that the software can be used in cosmetic surgery to determine whether or not a surgery could actually make someone look more beautiful. Here’s a snippet of an article from The Age on the software:
Their invention uses facial measurements, related to ratios and images of models, actors and some 200 women from around the world.
To develop their system, they divided the face into measurements such as the distance between the top of the face and the chin and between the eyes.
They assembled 215 images of women of different ages, levels of attractiveness and ethnic backgrounds, including photographs of Claudia Schiffer (pictured), Kate Moss and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The images were shown to a mixed gender, multi-racial panel of 50 volunteers who gave each face a rating of between one and 10.
They found while participants sometimes varied greatly in the ratings they gave, overall there was significant agreement over what was an attractive face.
Next they analysed the facial measurements of the women in the test images as well as the ratios between the measurements.
By looking for correlations, they were able to determine the features common in beautiful women, and develop software that combined this with facial-analysis technology.
Dr Piccardi said one danger of the software was that it could fall into the hands of adolescents or others sensitive about their looks and harm their self-image.
This kind of software brings up all kinds of questions. In terms of medicine, it is always helpful to be able to quantify something that is very subjective. On the other hand, is this really a problem right now in the medical field? It doesn’t take a computer to tell a doctor if he botched a nose job. Without a doubt this software will “fall into the wrong hands” eventually. Could it possibly be used against doctors who did a perfectly ok job, but whose patient is upset that the computer says they fell from an 8 to a 7?
It’s too bad that the program is only for women. But then again, who needs computers to tell men they’re ugly? That’s what wives/girlfriends are for.
Read the article here…
(Hat Tip: Engadget)