Netizens have fun with Microsoft's How-Old app

Netizens have fun with Microsoft's How-Old app

Netizens have been having fun with Microsoft's new How-Old app, which which analyses photos using face recognition software and a sophisticated age-guessing programme, and guesses the subject's age.

The Beijing News used the app to compare before-and-after photos of officials under investigation for corruption, and showed how much the app thought they had aged in that time.

Ordinary Chinese netizens, however, have been scanning in photos of historical, mythical, and even fictional characters to guess their age.

For instance, Terracotta warriors were esimated to be in their mid-thirties, and the Michelin Man was put at 25 and 126 years old.

Other cases in Japan showed how the app even picked up 'faces' in the background of photos, leading to rumours that How-Old could detect ghosts.

However, Microsoft reminded users that the software is still under development and is up for improvement, so any strange discrepancies can be explained away as the fault of a work in progress.

andrewg@sph.com.sg

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