Wondering why age-labelled pictures of celebrities keep popping up on your newsfeed today? You can thank how-old.net for that.
Ever questioned your photogenicness? Wondered how old people estimate you to be? Asked yourself if that picture you took last night maybe doesn’t do you justice? Well then, Microsoft’s new website probably isn’t the best place for you. Be warned and don’t gamble with your self esteem.
Or your fashion choices! I look between 73 and 84 in my new sunglasses, apparently.
In contrast, my friend Laura looks 13. She’s the same age as me. Adding insult to injury, I have received several emails titled ‘Kate, Plan Your Funeral’ in the last couple of days.
My dad looks 56, which is pretty spot on. But more interestingly, the Venetian mask behind him looks a sprightly 21, and is quite obviously female.
I had a go with the avatars from another app-of-the-moment (MyIdol) and they seem to shave a few years off you, as demonstrated by my mum and nonna – who’s actual age I will of course not disclose, as I wish to remain in their good graces (coincidentally, it’s my nonna’s birthday today!).
My reservations aside (it’s ok, I get a more respectable 20-26 from sunglasses-less pictures), How-Old.net is pretty addictive. And clever – the programme uses ‘existing Microsoft APIs, or application program interfaces, combining a program that detects information about faces in a photograph with tools that embed search results and location data’ (Time). Apparently it all started out as a bit of an experiment with new face detection software.
So, how old are you?