All right, all right, all right. It’s Friday a.m. It’s gorgeous outside. And we all know what that means.
It means shunning some serious work time and wasting precious minutes on the Internets. And what better way to blow time today than to fire up Microsoft’s new age-guessing robot?
How-old.net will use any photo you upload and guess the age of the people in it. And while the estimates are certainly off — way, way off for many — people sure are having fun with it. A few choice Tweets below:
— Lee Faircloth (@cleverprime) May 1, 2015
— CNN International (@cnni) May 1, 2015
According to Microsoft's http://t.co/8pplr7kpsE Yoda is 70 years old.
— rick walsh (@rickswalsh) May 1, 2015
FYI: This is JUST a coincidence! pic.twitter.com/T5RNDKMdcB
— Superman (@SupermanTweets) May 1, 2015
What’s the purpose of all this? In a blog post, Microsoft engineers Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian write about their experiment about “observing virality in real time.”
The authors said that once they launched how-old.net, they just expected “perhaps 50 users for a test,” but as of Wednesday, they report they’ve had more than 35,000 people to try it out. Many of them in Turkey — 29,000 people in fact. In fact, as of this time, more than 56,000 people have tweeted about this event.
Thompson and Balasubramanian write that this public, real-time test of the new software not only extracted gender and ages from photos, but also provided them with “real-time” insights on behavior, including the fact that many users uploaded their own photos for the experiment, not someone else’s. It’s unclear exactly how they’ll use this data, but they certainly found the enthusiasm behind the project fascinating.
Anyway, have fun with it!