www.how-old.net is a website created by Microsoft engineers Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramaniam to guess ages of persons in photos. You can upload your own photo or use the bing search bar to search for photos. It apparently analyses 27 points in your face to guess the age and gender. The developers say it’s a fun project and built to show easy Azure services are. Azure is an open cloud computing service by Microsoft. So this application was built to test out Microsoft’s cloud services. This website has notched up several million hits around the world since its release last week.
The website is fairly easy to use. Log onto www.how-old.net, upload a photo or search for one on the internet. I have tried this with mixed results. One of my photos was guessed correctly another one had seven years extra being added. I was not amused. The face API says frontal facial shots work best. So if you want the best result upload a picture of yourself facing the camera with adequate lighting around. Bearded faces will have a few years added to their age. If you are smooth faced or your photo is touched up by Photoshop/clever makeup your age can appear dramatically younger. Wrinkles of course will age you up. One guy I read up about had his age almost halved. If you take a look at his photo it is not that surprising. Japanese people are blessed with unbelievably beautiful skin. What I observed from this website was that the smoother and brighter your face looks, the younger you will be judged.
So I had some fun with this website and put some faces to the test,
Random Old Wrinkled Guy
He does NOT look 58. He looks closer to 78.
Shah Rukh Khan
That’s pretty close.
Salman does actually look like he’s in his 30s so it’s not a bad estimation.
No way she looks 27. More like 20!
Alia Bhatt looks 27 and Rekha looks 31?? There is a serious problem with your algorithm Mr Thompson and Mr Balasubrmaniam! We know Rekha looks ageless but less than half her age? That’s an overestimation by any standards!
The website is fun at first but the novelty wears out soon enough. There are privacy concerns too. Although the website promises to discard your photo soon after it has been tested it’s been found out that it’s not the case. Tech bloggers and experts have reported that Microsoft’s terms and services indicate that you actually allow that and by using the website you agree to its terms and conditions. Everyone should be aware now that once something is out on the internet, it stays there.
Similar websites like www.guessmyage.net allow users to put up their photos and have users all over the world to guess their age. So have some fun while it lasts but you’ve been warned.