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Never Forget a Face


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A new algorithm changes facial images to make them more memorable.

The new algorithm changes the original facial images (center) in different ways to make them more memorable, while striving not to change their overall appearance.

Credit: MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed an algorithm that makes subtle changes to various points on the face to make it more memorable without changing the subject's overall appearance.

The researchers say the system could eventually be integrated into a smartphone app to enable users to modify a digital image of their face before uploading them to their social networking pages.

In developing the algorithm, the researchers fed the software a database of more than 2,000 images, each of which had been given a memorability score, based on the ability of human volunteers to remember the pictures. The data enabled the software to detect subtle trends in the features of the faces that made them more or less memorable. The researchers then programmed the algorithm to make each face as memorable as possible without changing the identity of the person or altering their facial attributes.

When the system modifies a new face, it generates thousands of copies of the original image and analyzes how well each copy meets the algorithm's objectives. The system repeats this process several times until it finds a version that best meets its objectives.

The researchers now are studying how to add other attributes to the model, such as modifying faces to appear more intelligent or trustworthy.

From MIT News
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