If you’ve ever wondered how old you look in pictures, Microsoft has just developed an addictive new website that offers the answer. The site, how-old.net, takes data from an uploaded image to determine the subject’s age and gender.
According to Microsoft’s Machine Learning blog, the project started as a simple experiment among Microsoft engineers. They were “playing around” with new face detection software and decided to ask a couple hundred people to try it out and tell them what they thought. Within hours, the experiment had reached 30,000 people curious about whether a simple Internet site could accurately read their face.
Using existing Microsoft APIs, or application program interfaces, the engineers combined a program that detects information about faces in a photograph with tools that embed search results and location data.
Don’t sweat it if the site gets your age wrong—different pictures elicit different results, so you can always try again.