This Microsoft tool tries to guess your age and gender based on a photo

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

microsoft api age build build 2015 machine learning how old

Microsoft recently created a neat little tool that attempts to guess your age and gender based solely on a photo. Originally designed to test the company’s newly released face detection APIs and sent out to just a few hundred people, the page quickly went viral with more than 35,000 people having tried it out after just three hours.

To try it for yourself, simply visit how-old.net and upload an image of yourself (or find and upload a photo of someone else online).

The tool was built by a couple of developers in just one day and demonstrates the power of machine learning. It’s not always accurate – it guessed Mark Zuckerberg’s age as 36 when in reality, he’s just 30 – but it was just one year off with a guess of 90 for Hugh Hefner (he’s 89). I tried tricking it with a photo of a cute koala but the tool didn't fall for it.

The release coincides with Microsoft’s ongoing Build conference which got under way on Wednesday and runs through today in San Francisco. 

Found is a TechSpot feature where we share clever, funny or otherwise interesting stuff from around the web.

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hahahanoobs

TS Evangelist
Cool idea, but needs work.
I uploaded two pics of myself as an adult, and one as a teen. The first adult pic was given an age 8 years younger and the other 7 years older. Both pics were taken in the same year. The third was a grade 8 grad pic that was correct, but a pic of my 31 year old ex gave an age of 23.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
I'm flattered, I like it, I like it a lot. It estimated my age 10 years younger than I actually am. I guess a man is only as old as the woman he feels. :D
 
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davislane1

Their algorithm needs significant work. I was curious about how subtle differences in the picture may impact the estimate, so I took a number of pictures with and without glasses on & at different angles.

Actual age: 25
Range of results: 27-38

The biggest difference is that glasses appear to add 5 years. An upward tilt (head) seems to add years as well, while tilting down appears to decrease age.
 
G

Guest

Didn't work well at all. I am well aware that I look younger than my age, I am still sometimes carded buying alcohol (drinking age here is 18). I am 26, every picture I have it kept guessing 34 to 39. Interesting, but not quite ready. Maybe add some guidelines to how you should face the camera exactly for a more accurate reading.