for when you don't know what else to say

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dead Ringers

A friend sent me a link to If you just register with the site, you can try out their face recognition software online. You can upload a picture and the service matches it to either their big database, or the celebrity database consisting of "3200 of the world's most famous faces." Using it this afternoon I have noticed that a lot of the responses really depend on the angle of the photo.

I wanted to cry when my first upload said that I looked like Charles DeGaulle, Tom Hanks, or Tom Berenger. I pretty much welled up when the next pegged me as a doppleganger for Harvey Keitel. But then I discovered that you can click a button to choose male or female results, which made me feel a little better. Not that I think I look remotely like Nicole Richie, Liv Tyler, Mischa Barton or Catherine Deneuve, but at least it's in the right gender group.

I decided to test the program by running the face of one Mr. Don King. Surely, I thought, he must be one of the "3200." Result? Bupkes. I ran another on Luke Perry. This time, it came up with multi-gendered responses. Including Douglas Fairbanks, who was also mentioned in my matches. First, why didn't his picture come up? Also, does this mean Luke Perry and I look alike? For my final celebrity challenge I tried a photo of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Finally, it registered an actual celebrity. But if Douglas Fairbanks makes the cut in the year 2006, you'd think Don King and Luke Perry would too.

So obviously this program is insane, but it's funny all the same. If you try it though, stay away from group shots. Although it claims to do a great job with them, more often than not it doesn't identify the faces at all. Have fun!


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