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 Scientists teach an AI to recognise attractiveness in women

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Date posted: 04/04/2008

?Beauty,? goes the old saying, ?is in the eye of the beholder.? But does the beholder have to be human? Not necessarily, say scientists at Tel Aviv University. Amit Kagian, an M.Sc. graduate from the TAU School of Computer Sciences, has successfully taught a neural network how to interpret attractiveness in women.

Such an expert system is ideal for plastic and reconstructive surgery and computer visualisation programs such as face recognition technologies.

"Until now, computers have been taught how to identify basic facial characteristics, such as the difference between a woman and a man, and even to detect facial expressions," says Kagian. ?But our software lets a computer make an aesthetic judgement. Linked to sentiments and abstract thought processes, humans can make a judgement, but they usually don't understand how they arrived at their conclusions.?

In the first step of the study, 30 men and women were presented with 100 different faces of Caucasian women, roughly of the same age, and were asked to judge the beauty of each face. The subjects rated the images on a scale of 1 through 7 and did not explain why they chose certain scores. Kagian and his colleagues then went to the computer and processed and mapped the geometric shape of facial features mathematically.

Additional features such as face symmetry, smoothness of the skin and hair colour were fed into the analysis as well. Based on human preferences, the machine "learned" the relation between facial features and attractiveness scores and was then put to the test on a fresh set of faces.

Says Kagian, "The computer produced impressive results ? its rankings were very similar to the rankings people gave." This is considered a remarkable achievement, believes Kagian, because it?s as though the computer ?learned? implicitly how to interpret beauty through processing previous data it had received.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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