Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, October 06, 2008

Lying about your age? A computer can tell

MSNBC - October 6, 2008, by Bryn Nelson

How well can you hide your age? Computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a software program that estimates age based solely on someone’s facial appearance, suggesting that in the near future you won’t be able to fool either Mother Nature or that video camera verifying your ID at the local bar.

Beyond more accurate age estimates, the technology suggests a way for ads to target passersby with age-appropriate pitches, for face-based security systems to improve their accuracy, and for robots to become more adept at responding to human needs.

“Definitely for human-robot interactions, the robot would like to know as much about humans as possible,” said Thomas Huang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois who led the research.

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