Selfies have evolved from being called self portraits in recent past and have become part of pop culture and social media thanks to the numerous platforms you can upload your photo to. There is a saying that says “The best camera is the one with you” and thanks to selfies, it has made smartphone manufacturers to install higher resolution selfies in their offerings and dedicated cameras having articulating screens so that you can take that selfie easily.
However, when these selfies are uploaded on popular networks like Instagram for example, not all selfies get the same engagement statistics. This inspired Andrej Karpathy, a researcher to develop an AI system which he terms as a Convolutional Neural Network.
The ConvNet in short was used to gather images that were tagged with #selfie and as a result, 5 million images were obtained. He proceeded to narrow down the results by adding a filter that the images that were obtained should contain at least a face. This process led to the previous figure being narrowed down to about 2 million images. He then used the number of likes as a function to determine the audience size which levels the playing field when it comes to the number of followers. The system was able to come up with these findings:
- In the top 100 selfies that were taken, there was no single guy. Women tend to get more likes on a selfie
- Filters are important, especially the black and white filter.
- For ladies, show your long hair and don’t show your entire forehead
- The face should be at the centre, occupy a third of the image and slightly tilted.
The worst selfies were taken in low lighting, as a group shot or when you take a selfie that is up close.
You can judge how good is your selfie thanks to a Twitter bot named @deepselfie Karpathy came up with. When you tag the bot with your image, it gives you a result in percentage form about how good your selfie is. If your score is above 41%, it means that out of 100 selfies, your selfie has a 51% chance of being in the top half of all the selfies. This means the higher the better. Go on and take better selfies, thanks to science.