The New York Times is reporting on a new piece of software developed by Israeli computer scientists that take a photo and make it more attractive based on focus group research they conducted with 68 men and women. The “beautification engine”makes minor adjustments of symmetry, skin tone, and other factors that have been associated with “beauty.”
Some of the photos show very little change (e.g. actor James Franco), suggesting that the face is already near an ideal of beauty.
Are they on to something? Hard to say. The real Michael Cera looks better to me than the ideal. Let’s put the Sarah Palin Newsweek cover through it and see what happens.
Some point-and-shoot cameras already have features to make the subjects skinnier, maybe we can build the beautification engine into the hardware as well. Then we’ll all be wearing the emperor’s clothes.
On an unrelated note, my buddy Benny Simon from i33.com wonders what the hell is wrong with CNN and their iReport.