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Microsoft tries to guess your age with a new website and face detection API

Microsoft recently launched a new face detection API to developers, but it also came up with a rather cool demo for anyone to test out. It's a website called How-Old.net that attempts to predict the age and gender of a person just by scanning a picture.

Microsoft combined a number of its products and services, including Bing and Azure, to create the website. It stated:

"We wanted to create an experience that was intelligent and fun could capture the attention of people globally, so we looked at the APIs available in the Azure Machine Learning Gallery. The gallery contains many finished intelligent services such as Face, Speech, and Vision which are part of a new suite called Project Oxford from Bing and Microsoft Research. The Face API has a demo page that uses the API to detect and extract information about faces in a photograph. We found the ability of the face API to estimate age and gender to be particularly interesting and chose this aspect of it for our project."

The site not only allow people to upload their own pictures to be scanned, it also allows them to use photos found in a search powered by Bing. The final result is, well, interesting but not necessarily accurate. Our own Derek Kessler is still a young and spry 28 years old but How-Old.net has labeled him as 41 years old when we uploaded a recent photo of him.

Microsoft says that it is striving to improve the new face detection API, so hopefully How-Old.net will offer more precise predictions over the next several months. Microsoft is adding in face detection as one of its new Windows Hello security features in Windows 10.

Source: How-Old.net, Microsoft

121 Comments
  • Cool
  • Not so cool. I tried 3 images, my age is 18 but results are 33, 27, 29! Mine gender was correct, but for one of my friend age and gender both were wrong! Lol the site considered him to be a 21 year old girl!
  • i'm 19, it says i'm 40. it got the gender right though.
  • Well if that is really you in that avatar , the API is more or less  accurate , no offence. Shave dem beards.
  • Misleading article IMO. The website clearly says "how old do I look" not "how old I am".
  • Yeah it didn't guess my age right either, I'm 22 but it kept saying that I'm 31
  • Make sure you sign out of outlook for more accurate results.
  • Mine was just horrible! One was 27 and the other was 40...I'm in early 20's and kinda skinny malnourished XD...was expecting way less...
  • I was guessed as an 8 year old girl.
  • Well Rod sure called you one :P
  • Works perfectly, NIST.....
    ..........
    This is great for AI.... So, in the future robots will be able determine my age, race, gender... So, they can respect, and disrespect, me accordingly... COOL❗❗❗
    ..........
    Hey, maybe XBM will be able to detect that I'm black, and suggest some nice hip hop music❓❓ LOL. Discrimination. Awesome❗❗ Can't wait.
  • You're the unblackest black man I know. You're like a slightly darker Eminem.
  • Lol... I beeeees blacks, you be fool, fool.
    .........
    There. You happy now❓
    And, my girl is blacker than Whoopie Goldberg's gums.. Don't get it twisted:-o:-o:-o:-o:-o
  • I'm 18, it said I was 27 Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • LOL
    I'm sure I'll be judged as 47
    Tho m way younger
  • Tell me about it ! mine was 8 years off lol
  • Lol, poor Derek. Military life.
  • I'll probably be 80 with a really bad photo
  • Seems to be less accurate with younger people. It guessed mine correctly.
  • Mine was off by 4 years...
  • I tried 2 photos of me. One said 23 and the other 40. I'm 26
  • Mine was right. 23 ;)
  • A phone app please
  • Why? To use 1 time and uninstall? We don't need apps for everything...
  • To actually try it out. This won't work through my browser on my 1020. I may waste some downtime trying this on my phone at work. I'd spend the two minutes to download the app. But I'm not going to waste my time at home, on my desktop doing this. So yeah, an app would be nice.
  • Works fine here on 920 - uploaded my pic from the phone too. Maybe you hit a temporary issue when you visited?
  • Tried it again and it worked this time. So maybe we don't need an app.
  • Derek so old.
  • Lol.
  • i suppose they should give a feedback option too. wherein you can tell you real age and gender. it'll actually help them improve.
  • Mine was overestimated by 2 years
  • Mine was underestimated by 2 years. I agreed with most of the sample photos too, it's pretty accurate.
  • I will check mine after a week----- birthday loading will it wish me on my Birthday
  • I'm 16 and its guessing 14 not that bad thumbs up to Microsoft (Y)
  • Eat well and it will work
  • Hahah I eat a lot.. What's yours?
  • Check above comment
  • Hahaha good
  • cool
  • I tried two photos. One was off by 5 years, the other 7. It got my daughter's age exactly right. I even tried a year old photo of her and that was right as well! So, seems to be better with those who aren't chronologically challenged like myself.
  • It showed me to be 8 years older than I am, but it got my 5 year old daughter correct. Still needs work, but really cool concept. I'm sure it will improve over time. Most people guess my age at 15 years younger than I actually am. I'm glad to hear it's guessing other people as older as well, otherwise, I'd feel really bad. I notice it doesn't select "hair" to judge by gray hair. That's good, because so many people dye it. Not an indicator, though many people "percieve" someone's age incorrectly by the amount of gray they have.
  • Oscar dos Santos he is 23 Years old Guy and he looks 15 :p I don't like this idea
  • This is going to offend so many people
  • I'm kind of glad it pegged Derek Kessler as so old. It pegged me at 62. I'm 47. Thanks, Microsoft!
  • You want a good way to kill 30 minutes of your time? My new favorite addicting site.
  • Way off for me. 44 when I'm 25, guess I need to moisturize.
  • Well, apperently Im 35. wwaaaaaaay off
  • People will like it or not like it. Schrodinger!
  • Ambani nahi, bhambhani. Lol. Just kidding, man. :D
  • Showed me older by 25 years ...
  • You might have used ponds age miracle in that puc
  • Apparently I'm 38 years old...i must have woken up in 2029 :)
  • Off by 26 years xD
  • How-Old.net tells me Joe Belfiore is 38. I looked up for his age but didn't find anything. Does anyone know?
  • Joe Belfiore is eternal.
  • Haha, it thought my 1 year old son was a 2 year old girl. I'll have to remind him of that in a few years :)
  • Closest it got to my age was 2 years above, furthest it got was 16 years above. Shaving definitely makes it read as younger, my younger ages were clean shaven or light stubble, my oldest ages were with full on beard
  • I'm not sure if that's the case. I've got pretty heavy stubble right now, and it judged me to be 9 years younger than my true age. I'll try shaving later and see if it gets any worse/better!
  • Lol. Now people are gonna shave for this website. :P
  • Why stop there? I'm going to put on some skimpy clothing and see if I can flirt with it.
  • Go ahead. Post the screenshot. ;)
  • I think people are having trouble accepting that they look older than they really are. Sunblock people!
  • They still have to work on it, I can not be 39. No this is a big error.
  • The picture of bill gates when he was about 18 showed as 55. Think they have some work to do.
  • Yeah, at dis time its preety inaccurate. My age is 17 and it showed 31,31,37.....lol
  • XiaoMi Mi3 guessed my age more accurately than the people around me.
  • Amusingly, it recognized a picture of my XBox avatar. And declared me 11 years old. (I'm not.)
  • dammit, crap website said I'm a 31 year old female
  • Got me older by 7 years the first time, second time by 2. So so. Guessing what's behind that. :$
  • A picture of me right now was correct in female, but guessed 7 years older. Not bad. A picture where my head was smaller said female and 25 years older. Hmmm. My favorite though was the picture where I was wearing a long fake mustache - it said I was a 71 year old man! Good to know that my mustache disguise is spot on.
  • :D I expect it needs a picture where your face is filling as much of the frame as possible to get a good result.
  • I saw this working at Microsoft UK using cameras and displaying the ages of the faces on a large tv. It was much more accurate than people are suggesting in these comments so I guess a 2d photo is more limiting
  • It thinks I'm 9 years younger than I am. Cheers Microsoft, you charmer.
  • Down-voted by an anonymous butterface. Shame on you, butterface.
  • Added 9 year to my actual age, but since I just came out of a 4 hour meeting, I'm not surprised by that result :)
  • sorry to say but you figured out the site in a wrong way. The site is about how old do you look not "how old are you?"
  • This. So many Central readers are unable to accept their resemblance to a bag of spanners.
  • It did recognize that my dog was not a human face. Unfortunately it said the same thing about my friend. It also says the kid from the welcome to the internet meme is a 7 year old girl. Haha.
  • I am 79!!!!!!!!!!
  • 41, ouch. Telling someone's age by looking at a face only is virtually impossible.
  • Reminds me of IBM Watson. Has a similar system.
  • I'd be afraid to try. People always guess my age as older than my 59 years. This would prob guess me at 80. My ego doesn't need the hit.
  • Tried several photos completely wrong every time
  • It said I'm 8 years younger than I really am. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sooooo, 18?
  • For me, it's close enough -+2ys.
  • Mine was right
  • I have tried 3 different pictures and it can't recognize a face in any of them. 
  • Dick pics don't count.
  • This site needs to be kept away from the ladies. :P
  • I've tried 6 different photos with IE and Edge, I cannot get this site to work. Edge will load the photo but not show an age. IE won't even display the photo.
  • Little bit off for me. Cool tech when improved with time.
  • This is fun. This should have been a WP app! Hahaha!
  • Lol! Poor sod.
  • I ran it with a photo of me, my daughter and my nephew. It guessed 4 (she's 3), 11 (correct) and 37 (I'm 38) so colour me impressed!
  • At first it said 28.. I thought that it wasn't that bad.. I do have a beard after all and it makes me look a little older. Then it said 31.. I mean, come on.. I'll be 25 in 2 weeks...
  • Okay, so obviously, we have all been mislead to believing something else, here. This is about how old do we look, it's not trying to guess our actual age. I can accept that I do look like 28 sometimes. Maybe 31 for some people but that's a stretch.
  • I uploaded, one and guessed that had 38 and couldn't get the gender
  • I tried it with Cortana. It thinks she's a 27 year old guy. :P
  • Nobody gives me my real age (+ 5±) and my girlfriend (- 5+)
  • I'm 23, my gf is 28. I put a pic of us in there and it said I'm 33, and my gf is a 54 year old man.
  • Predicted mine correct. Wife 10 year young. So site is smart.
  • Waste !!! But still improving
  • Considering nobody beleives how old I am thinking I'm like 10 years younger, and this thing guesses my age 15 years higher, it seems pretty shit!
  • I look young and it guessed I was older than I am by 7 years.   Using the transitive property of Baby Face... I conclude this is full of shit. 
  • Cool and funny
  • Okay, it nailed the age and gender on my 5 year old girl, but my 2 year old girl in the same photo it tagged as a 56 year old man. No where close.  
  • The concept is not new. Vending machines in Japan take your photo and determine age and sex and use it as marketing data on the purchase.
  • Congratulations guys and girls. You are now in the system.
  • Lol this got nobody I know ages anywhere near right
  • Nice concept, poor execution. I am 26 and it guessed 31.
  • It's analysing by pic for some time now,I guess I'm immortal
  • i bet it won't work perfectly for asian,black and for those who had done plastic surgery
  • In-correct!
  • Jared Leto is 25 and I'm 29. Seems legit(I'm 15).
  • On the bright side, it totally doesn't work with IE10 on WP8. Not even the pics shown on the site, lol.
  • Lol, I'm 15 years old but the result are 27..
  • Showing different ages for different pics Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I look 3 years younger... Hihi
  • This is viral already!
  • Saw in Tumblr
    http://sofakig.tumblr.com/post/117955227473