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Israeli researchers ‘teach’ computer to assesses physical attractiveness

Article-Israeli researchers ‘teach’ computer to assesses physical attractiveness

Tel Aviv, Israel — Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a computer program that interprets attractiveness in women, reports Medical News Today.

The Israeli study, published in the scientific journal Vision Research, combines computer programming and psychology. Medical News Today quotes the study’s lead author as saying, “Until now, computers have been taught how to identify basic facial characteristics, such as the difference between a woman and a man, and even to detect facial expressions. But our software lets a computer make an aesthetic judgment.”

In their study, the researchers presented 30 men and women with 100 different faces of Caucasian women, roughly of the same age, and were asked to judge the beauty of each face. The subjects rated the images on a scale of 1 through 7 and did not explain why they chose certain scores. Using computers, the researchers then processed and mapped the geometric shape of facial features mathematically.

Additional features such as face symmetry, smoothness of the skin and hair color were fed into the analysis as well. Based on human preferences, the computer “learned” the relation between facial features and attractiveness scores and was then tested on a new set of faces.

According to the study, the computer produced positive results — its rankings were very similar to the rankings assigned by humans.

The study’s authors say their findings and resultant software development can be applied to plastic and reconstructive surgery and computer-visualization programs, such as face-recognition technologies.

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