Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Never Enough Face Recognition Fun Department

Now that the place is a few inches closer to the move, I felt that a bit of late-night Internet goofing was in order. Noticing a face-morph widget on a friend's Myspace profile, I went to the site to find that had integrated into their genealogy tools a face recognition engine that can compare your image to others' in order to find distant relatives. While I can see the value of it in terms of family branches you suspect are related but wish to confirm, it's clear they are trying to drive traffic by letting you compare your own face to those of celebrities. Now, I don't exactly need to be validated by such a comparison, but I had to wonder what would happen if I used various different styles of my pictures to see what results I get.

First, a bit of goofy cheesecake I made back when I was experimenting with such things:

I'm duly flattered to be compared to Christina Ricci and Demi Moore--I don't know the others offhand--but I'd let Jason Biggs play me in the movies. He's gotta grow that hair out, though, and gain about 100 pounds, and wax. A lot.

Ah, but what if I'm in a darkly lit room, looking up at the camera, with wires running off my head, eh?

Seems that wires and poor lightning make me look like a mentalist self-help guru, or an actor that would be well cast playing such. Also, without makeup and with wires on my head I suddenly look kinda like Natalie Merchant. Interesting.

But is it as interesting as my most popular Flickr photo--not interesting because of how pretty I was, but on how horrifying UGLY I managed to make myself look:

I am deeply honored that, while making this intentionally screwed-up face in the name of comedy, I would therefore be compared most solidly with Peter Sellers. I could cry.

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