Feeds

Google-funded boffins figure out age-busting facial prediction system

Only online image of you is from your childhood? No problem, we can figure out what you look like now.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google's former chief Eric Schmidt once remarked that to have true privacy after spending some time on the internet you would need to change your name.

Now, thanks to some research funded by Google and Intel, you would have to change your face as well.

Three University of Washington researchers – one of whom, Steven Seitz, also works for Google – have developed a powerful data-driven technique for taking photos of young children and accurately predicting what they will look like as they grow up.

This is "the first fully-automated approach for age progression that operates "in the wild"", the researchers write in the Illumination Aware Age Progression paper [PDF] describing the technique. This approach can deal with "variable illumination, pose, and expression".

WashFaceResearch1

The researchers' technology is able to make convincing predictions (left) about what a person will look like as they age (right) from a single input image from childhood (top)

"Our approach takes a single photo as input and automatically produces a series of age-progressed outputs between 1 and 80 years of age," they explain.

In other words, if anyone posts a photo of a young child to a public internet page and no other image associated with that individual ever makes it online, this new system will still be able to come up with a convincing representation of what they'll look like at age 10, 20, 30, and so on.

WashFaceResearch2

The system is able to capture some of the damages wrought by ageing as well

The researchers said this technique was made possible by "a new database consisting of thousands of photos of people spanning age (0 to 100)" along with new techniques for dealing with varying lighting conditions across images and a way of recognizing how the illumination areas of the face change over time due to ageing. The test database contained 40,000 photos split over 14 age groups.

By developing a new technique for "relighting" images – that it, applying new illumination sources to a face to give it the definition and shadowing that real, human faces have, they were able to create much more convincing predictions of what people could look like in a variety of different lighting circumstances.

To test their results the academics used Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" tool to ask people to rank the images and their approach came out top.

In the future the team hopes to model wrinkles and hair whitening and to create a database of heads and upper torsos of different ages to put the results onto. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.