Microsoft’s ‘How Old’ age estimator reaps Internet mockery

Brittany A. Roston - Apr 30, 2015, 2:30 pm CDT
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Microsoft’s ‘How Old’ age estimator reaps Internet mockery

Microsoft has a facial recognition tool called ‘How Old’ that aims to guess your age based on a picture of your face. It’s a fun little novelty…or it would be if it were accurate. Rather, many users find the guesses to be inaccurate, sometimes very much so, and as a result the Internet has done what the Internet often does: taken to mockery. A bunch of screenshots have appeared on Twitter (and elsewhere) showing faces and the ages estimated, and in some cases faces that aren’t even human.

The ‘How Old’ tool was shown off at Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco recently, with the company’s corporate VP for machine learning Joseph Sirosh calling the API a “really fun” tool able to detect faces in a picture and estimate both the gender of that person and their age.

To be fair, the tool says beneath the photo you upload and its estimate, “Sorry if we didn’t quite get the age and gender right — we are still improving the feature.” And in some cases (such as with myself), the estimator is entirely correct. So your milage might vary.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, it seems most people aren’t estimated correctly — and in many cases, judging by tweets, not even close to correctly. Microsoft will likely improve the facial recognition’s tool in time, but until then don’t get offended if it says you look older than you are.

SOURCE: Venture Beat


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