Erin Mallory Long
May 01, 2015 6:24 am

If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet today, you’ve probably noticed people sharing selfies with a yellow border and an age, along with the hashtag #HowOldRobot. Yes, there’s a new app that detects your age and gender based on your photo—or at least, it tries to. I discovered this phenomenon because a female friend of mine was identified as a 67-year-old man in a group photo. Obviously I had to immediately jump on board and test it out myself. This is what happens whenever a trend sweeps the Internet in this manner: I try it immediately and am obsessed for a day and a half and then it goes away. (Except for MyIdol, those things creep me out.)

So basically, if you go to how-old.net and upload or take a photo of yourself or others, it will scan your face and try to guess your age and, for some reason, your gender. Since the title is “How Old Do I Look?” I’m not sure why they added gender into the mix—so we’ll ignore that for the time being. Basically, two engineers in Information Management and Machine Learning at Microsoft were trying out a new Microsoft face detection API and wanted some people to test out. As is always the case in the Internet it EXPLODED (interestingly, through Turkey) and eventually made its way to us as well and now we are all doing this constantly (just me?).

Here is how my journey with this app went:

First I try this picture I took at work the other day, pointing to my co-worker (he doesn’t know this photo was taken shhhhhh)

I am FLATTERED but laughing at the age result. Actually it didn’t freak me out much because I’ve been carded at R rated movies as recently as three years ago. (What can I say? I look innocent and wear a lot of ridiculous things.)

Then I try this photo I took this morning of my new sunglasses to see what covering my eyes does to the results:

I’m sort of taking this as the age’s judgement of my new sunglasses, but I’ll let it slide.

Then I go to a mirror selfie where I have a hat on. TRYING TO TRICK THE SYSTEM.

It finally thinks I’m older here but funnily enough, it also thinks a non-human illustration of Jenny Lewis is 53, so there’s that.

Here’s where I start going crazy and adding in pictures of celebrities from my phone into this app. Starting with the Friends cast:

This one is kind of all over the place and I don’t know EXACTLY what year this photo was taken but I like that Jennifer Aniston is guessed as the youngest with Matt LeBlanc a close second.

So then I wanted to have some fun. Here’s that infamous screenshot from the “Blank Space” music video (with a little flair added by me)

PRETTY CLOSE, GUYS!!! Good job.

It took a lot of tries of images from The Simpsons to get one that it recognized as a face. But here goes:

Can’t identify young Homer but can clock the dude at the counter. Interesting, app, interesting.

And finally, my beautiful Pretty Little Liars:

As always, they are perfection and it looks like the dirt didn’t mess up the app TOOOO much.

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