Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Taught To Recognize Attractiveness In Women

Date:
April 5, 2008
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Will the Miss America pageant ever be the same? "Beauty," goes the old saying, "is in the eye of the beholder." But does the beholder have to be human? Not necessarily, say computer scientists who have successfully "taught" a computer how to interpret attractiveness in women.

"Beauty," goes the old saying, "is in the eye of the beholder." But does the beholder have to be human?
Credit: iStockphoto

"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 computer how to interpret attractiveness in women.  But there's a more serious dimension to this issue that reaches beyond mere vanity. The discovery is a step towards developing artificial intelligence in computers. Other applications for the software could be in plastic and reconstructive surgery and computer visualization programs such as face recognition technologies.

From Mathematics to Aesthetics

"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 judgment. Linked to sentiments and abstract thought processes, humans can make a judgment, 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 color 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.

Beauty is Golden

The notion that beauty can be boiled down to binary data and interpreted by a mathematical model is nothing new. More than 2,000 years ago the Greek mystic, philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras observed the connection between math, geometry and beauty. He reasoned that features of physical objects corresponding to the "golden ratio" were considered most attractive.

"I know that Plato connected the good to the beautiful," says Kagian. "Personally, I believe that some kind of universal correctness to beauty exists in nature, an aesthetic interpretation of the universal truth. But because each of us is trapped with our own human biases and personalized viewpoints, this may detract us from finding the ultimate formula to a complete understanding of beauty."

Kagian, who studied under the Adi Lautman multidisciplinary program for outstanding students at Tel Aviv University, says that a possible next step is to teach computers how to recognize "beauty" in men. This may be more difficult. Psychological research has shown that there is less agreement as to what defines "male beauty" among human subjects. And his own portrait, jokes Kagian, will not be part of the experiment.

"I would probably blow up the machine," he says.

Kagian published the findings in the scientific journal Vision Research. Co-authors on the work were Kagian's supervisors Prof. Eytan Ruppin and Prof. Gideon Dror.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Computer Taught To Recognize Attractiveness In Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080404122139.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2008, April 5). Computer Taught To Recognize Attractiveness In Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080404122139.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Computer Taught To Recognize Attractiveness In Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080404122139.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Inbox Is The Latest Gmail Competitor

Google's Inbox Is The Latest Gmail Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Google's new e-mail app is meant for greater personalization and allows users to better categorize their mail, but Gmail isn't going away just yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — New photo-recognition software from MicroBlink, called PhotoMath, solves linear equations and simple math problems with step-by-step results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins