How old are you? That question becomes hard to answer as you age. Microsoft believes it can chime in to help save us all from those awkward moments when we have to ask our friends, relatives and mostly, likely dates, their age. You don’t need to risk being dumped after making that mean remark on learning her actual age. You can simply get that duck face image from her Facebook or Instagram page and Microsoft will do the heavy-lifting for you.
Only that the algorithms aren’t so accurate in this venture. For instance according to Microsoft, it turns out that our in-house hipster and self-confessed socialite Eric Wainaina has been lying to us all along. He’s not as young as he claims to be. He’s almost clocking 40! At 39, he’s the grandpa in our office.
It’s not just Eric whose age has been wrongly captured by those algorithms, Mona Lisa, according to the software, is just 30! In fact in some instances she’s 23. KFC’s Colonel Sanders is 90.
Built by Microsoft developers in just a day and demoed yesterday at Build 2015 as part of the company’s efforts to promote its Azure Machine Learning Gallery that seeks to help people explore more as far as a machine’s ability to learn speech, detect faces and analyze text goes, how-old.net uses the Face API to come up with results like the ones above. The facial recognition bit is to show potential clients briefly how Microsoft’s advanced analytics engines run in the background scouring through data in the cloud (Azure) almost instantly and producing fairly accurate results.
It is still a work-in-progress as may be evidenced by the ridiculous results so far.
Here’s a tip if you want to clock sweet 16 even if you are too old (I didn’t say that): take a photo in a well lit lit environment and make sure you face the camera. Else those zombies in The Walking Dead may be younger than you as far as some several thousand lines of code are concerned.