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Eigenfaces Online Service 149

nordicfrost writes "At Norways largest online newspaper, they're doing the beta test of an Eigenface service. In short, it takes a portrait picture, treats it with some filters and analyzes the vectors in it. This is used for crimestopping and generic Big Brother activities. In this database, however, your mug is compared with celebrites to find which one that matches you the most. I match, among others, Brad Garrett. This site is pretty self-explaining, upload a portrait pic of yourself taken right in front of your face, closely cropped to the face and use the up arrow to see your top ten list of celebrity matches. You have to agree to some terms first, like giving permission to use your pic in promotions and other stuff and not to upload indecent stuff."
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Eigenfaces Online Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:39AM (#9173257)
    I'm quite certain that this is a front for the "Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste []"!
  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by That's Unpossible! ( 722232 ) * on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:41AM (#9173270)
    It helps if you know the language.

    My first attempt matched me up to a very nice looking female.

    Too bad I'm a male.

    So that's what kvimmen means.
    • Re:Also (Score:5, Funny)

      by idfrsr ( 560314 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:06AM (#9173513)
      "My first attempt matched me up to a very nice looking female."

      The possible ways to respond to this are numerous, but I think that what you need to do, is to make sure that under no possible circumstance you find yourself in a prison...
    • Re:Also (Score:2, Informative)

      by kunudo ( 773239 )
      kvinne = woman
      mann = the other one
    • Re:Also (Score:2, Funny)

      by groot ( 198923 ) *

      My first attempt matched me up to a very nice looking female.

      Too bad the nice looking female was Mrs. Garrett [] from the TV sitcom Facts of Life. I guess they never got past the 'G's when setting up the celebs. reference images database.

    • No kidding. I'm not sure if I clicked anything wrong but...

      I happen to be a white dude with a shaved head and long red goatee.

      That site tried to tell me I look like Barry White.

      Um... OK. :)
      • Yeah, if the matching for the law enforcement version is anywhere near the ability of this beta, we don't have much to worry about in terms of privacy.

        I also got matched with a black guy, Michael Jordan. I copied their little animated GIF which is supposed to show how much we are alike: Pasty geek == Michael Jordan? []
  • William Gibson novel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by raider_red ( 156642 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:41AM (#9173274) Journal
    Wasn't there something like this in Virtual Light? I think it was used to find missing persons by posting information on which celebrities the abducted/missing person looked like.
  • by Alranor ( 472986 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:42AM (#9173284)
    And it suggested This [] picture ...
  • by Woogiemonger ( 628172 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:42AM (#9173288)
    So if I upload a picture of my ass, do they match it to Darl McBride?
  • by jakedata ( 585566 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:44AM (#9173311)
    Mr. Sparkle is everybody's favorite Japanese pop-culture soap logo. His soap is made only from the purest of plants from the mysterious forests of Hokkaido, Japan. He appears frequently in commercials for his soap, and can be seen on billboards, and outside of the Mr. Sparkle plant. According to his box, Mr. Sparkle is a "magnet for foodstuffs", and he banishes dirt to the land of wind and ghosts. If you are further interested in Mr. Sparkle soap, you can contact the factory in Japan for a videotape on distributing Mr. Sparkle in your home prefecture.

    This explains a LOT of strange things that have happened to me over the years!

  • dangit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by catdevnull ( 531283 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:45AM (#9173315)
    Those bastards! They matched me with goatse!
  • NOOOOO (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:46AM (#9173330)
    I just finished studying eigenvalues and eigenvectors, now eigenfaces!?!?
    • Re:NOOOOO (Score:3, Informative)

      by zopu ( 558866 )
      It's named eigenfaces because the underlying compression technique uses eigenvalues/vectors.

      It's called PCA (principle components analysis) and works by finding an underlying low-dimensional representation that minimises the reconstruction error when you put everything back together.

      So you find a new set of basis vectors to represent the data with, where your new set is smaller than your old set.

      It turns out that the best basis used for the reconstruction is formed from the 'biggest' eigenvectors (those
  • by jm92956n ( 758515 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:47AM (#9173334) Journal
    Can I upload a photo of me with my tin-foil hat on?
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:50AM (#9173378)
    A facial recognition system like EigenFace looks for the dominant modes of variation among a population of faces to find predictors that help distinguish among the different faces. By ignore the ways that faces are more similar and accentuating the ways that faces are most different, they can craft identification algorithms. The only challenge is getting enough data to understand the full range of facial variations -- hence this solicitation for more facial data.

    But I wonder if people can game this system to make themselves unrecognizable. For example, a member of the tin-foil hat brigade might submit multiple mugshots of themselves under mutliple assumed identities. By using slight variations in facial expression, makeup, lighting, and camera angle they would make the system think that a large fraction of the population "looks like" the person who seeks anonymity. The system would then have a hard time identifying the tin-foil hat wearer because he/she matches so many people in the test data.

    Anyone can make themselves "look average" if they can bias the dataset that defines the average.
    • The problem in this arises because humans tend to notice some charateristics before others.
      F.ex. a noticibly different nose will cause a human to think that two people cant possibly look alike, while the recognition (as i saw it used on treats all vectors equally. Another example is the effect that hair falling differently counts for many points because of the many edges involved in hair (based on my observation of the site).

      Anyway, i'm not on their list of celebrities, so i won't say anything posi
  • by nizo ( 81281 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:51AM (#9173384) Homepage Journal
    This is all an evil plot to match IP numbers with faces! Don't fall for it! And yes, I am very upset that they said my face most closely matched Paul Reubens.
  • Ima Gunna (Score:4, Funny)

    by robpoe ( 578975 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:52AM (#9173391)
    Lets upload a picture of Shrek .. and see who's face more closely matches...

    John Goodman?
    Bob Barker?
    Alex Travec?
    Geraldo Rivera?

    • by applef00 ( 574694 )
      Alex Travec?
      Or even Alex Trebek!
    • Lord Farquaad is supposedly Eisner: /Farquaad_800.jpg
    • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:15AM (#9173592)
      Better yet, test the site out by uploading pictures of celebrities, and see which celebrity is says they most closely resemble.
    • Hardly any American slashdotters will have heard of the band Hear'Say, formed through reality TV show 'Popstars' (pretty much the same drill as Pop Idol). The band split up quite soon after being chosen as the winners of the show (surprise surprise).

      In the UK, many of us have seen a likeness between the Hear'Say member Danny and Shrek. Although calling him a celebrity is using the term very loosely indeed.

      Some pics (couldn't find much, there are much better ones that show more of a likeness, but oh well
  • /.'ed (Score:5, Funny)

    by JosKarith ( 757063 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:52AM (#9173394)
    (Pouts) - now I'm gonna have to wait ages to give their boimetric database a picture of me and my IP address.
    • The best thing is, it's the 17th of may, which is our independence day, or whatever you wanna call it. I can guarantee you, their sysadmin is NOT at work today. :D
  • by curtisk ( 191737 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:55AM (#9173424) Homepage Journal
    FORBANNET Slashdot!
  • If only.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Willeh ( 768540 ) <> on Monday May 17, 2004 @10:56AM (#9173428)
    I just hope they can keep this out of the hands of the police. They would LOVE to get their hands on a database like this (even with the inevitable false positives you get when people just want to prank the system with mcbride/ hello.jpg type stuff). If you think i'm being too serious about this, think of the blurred lines between the media and serious business that is already the case in some countries. Keeping in the vein of the article, spot the quote: "Now i can feel like Matt Dillon instead of an asshole."
  • ...and other stuff and not to upload indecent stuff...

    It's automated, right? Interesting possibilities...

    • It is very clever automation.

      They have several back-end databases containing tons of eigentits, eigenbums, eigenarses etc. generated through hours of dedicated pron surfing.

      If the uploaded image matches too closely to any of these then it is rejected.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:00AM (#9173463)
    For fun, I put my cat's face into one of these things, and it kept returning Scott Baio as the celebrity he most resembles.
  • by swasson ( 639367 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:00AM (#9173473) Homepage
    does that mean that it's been /.'ed or that someone has a VERY ugly mug?

  • Medical application (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InternationalCow ( 681980 ) <mauricevansteens ... m ['c.c' in gap]> on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:02AM (#9173481) Journal
    Perhaps less obvious is the usefulness of this system for syndrome diagnosis. There, we depend on our visual memory of a dysmorphic "Gestalt" to recognize human malformation syndromes. So far, attempts at some kind of computer-aided diagnosis have failed. Too bad, because syndrome diagnosis like we do it now is error-prone and difficult. This system however may be used to recognize typical "syndrome vectors", so you can feed it a patient's picture and have it say "x% match with oculo-dento-digital dysplasia" or whatever disease comes to mind. Potentially very useful!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Absolutely fascinating idea.

      I've worked in neuropsychology and neurology, and there's this phenomenon that often occurs where you meet a patient, and know they're dysmorphic in an identifiable way, but can't quite place what's different about them. These individuals often go through years, if not decades, of unsuccessful genetic testing to try to match them with a syndrome.

      Perhaps your suggestion could help in such cases. More generally, it might improve research, by allowing for quantification of feature
  • the same group that gave us this site [] [talked about by this slashdot story] [] posted a while back where you could do a search on your screen name to see if you were on the RIAA hitlist...

  • by Not_Wiggins ( 686627 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:05AM (#9173508) Journal
    This is a GREAT idea! What will be next? See how closely your fingerprints match the fingerprints of your favorite celebrities? See how well your password stacks up against other users?
    Just fill out this form, put in your SS#, mother's maiden name, US address, credit card numbers, and the last 3 tax returns, and we'll show you if you look like Fred Flintstone... and we won't do anything else with your information... HONEST!

    (For the humor impaired, and there seems to be an inordinate number of you, I'M KIDDING! ;) )
  • If anybody comes up as matching Kevin Costner, they should include a nationwide suicide hotline in the subtext.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I matched Osama Bin Laden. I always wondered why I was strip-searched every time I flew on an airline.
    • No, that shows that the system doesn't work. The airlines are not allowed to use "racial profiling" to prioritize security screening. Several airlines have been successfully sued and fined millions for searching persons of aparently arab decent more often than others.
      • Really, which airlines? Who did they pay the amount to?
        • United settled with the Department of Transportation for $1.5 million in November 2003 for removing passengers from flights in "a few instances" based on their race, color, national origin, religion or ancestry.

          In March, 2004, American settled with DOT for $1.5 million for removing 10 persons of Middle Eastern appearance as security risks.

          In April, 2004, Continental settled with DOT for $0.5 million having been charnged with searching men of Middle Eastern descent more often and otherwise discriminating

          • If you were black would you completely understand getting stopped more often while driving, or while walking down the street?
            • If there was a black crime wave, yes. That wasn't the case when American blacks suffered harrasment. The KKK was the crime wave.

              Racism is an internal attitude. You can't fix it by imposing external quotas. Racists just find more subtle ways to show their prejudice. For instance, a hair cutting salon here in Virginia and Maryland (my wife cuts my hair, so I don't remember the exact name and don't want to malign an innocent company) has a policy of charging a much higher price or refusing to cut "thick

  • Kim Jung Il. There's a blow to the ego...

  • by BuddieFox ( 771947 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:19AM (#9173623)
    Has anyone mirrored this story? I want to read who I look like!
    • Well, use a regular mirror, then. This is a joke. Depending on the image and how I crop it, I seem to look like just about everyone, including Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie and the Dalai Lama. Gender-bending gives me better scores, too. Hm.
      • Sure is, I saw some really ugly buggers who were supposed to look like Brad Pitt.

        Not to mention that I was supposed to look like George Clooney, funny my (absent) love life doesn't really mirror that "fact".. :)
        • I guess it's possible to resemble Mr. Pitt in certain ways yet still lack the BradPittness that makes him attractive (to a number of people). Brad Pitt is more than the sum of his parts, or something. Anyhow, this probably means that expanding this into a dating/match-making service would be a disaster , which is fine by me because anyone who's looking for somebody based on who *else* they look like deserves what they get. And you'll notice that not everyone with a love life looks like George Clooney ;) Goo
  • How many of you REALLY REALLY want to upload a picture of the goatse guy and see who he most resembles? Any guesses?
  • By the way (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by gspr ( 602968 )
    Completely off-topic, but today is Norway's national day.
  • they're not... /.
  • yay! (Score:4, Funny)

    by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @11:50AM (#9173913) Homepage
    Guide to having no privacy and letting others make money at it.
    • install this new cool popup blocker from Microsoft!
    • Upload your picture for free!
    • Give us your fingerprints and we'll tell you who to vote for!
    • Get this free helper to fix your computer problems, his name is Bonzai.
  • My use for this (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FuzzyDaddy ( 584528 )
    I could use some decent facial recognition software to help me sort my rapidly growing collection of digital family photos. I barely have time to pick out the good ones for printing, let alone organize them in some rational way. I've often wished I could use facial recognition software to go through and create a database of the people in my pictures, so I could automatically send pictures to people who would be interested.

  • Already /.-ed :(
  • by Myself ( 57572 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @12:02PM (#9174007) Journal
    I should point out that I didn't even consider uploading anything indecent until I was warned against doing so. What the hell can be indecent about a face? Then I thought about it for a minute. Hey, what celebrity does my ass most resemble? A bit more thinking, and I realized that I could get instantly matched to Darl McBride by uploading a pic of my schlong [].

    On a more general note, non-face-specific image recognition software would be handy to have for a lot of reasons. I'm envisioning an object recognizer, where you take a picture or scan of, say, a circuit board. It could spit back something like "That's a SB16 ISA PNP, drivers are www.some.where and compatibility info is www.over.there"

    Such a system would need a distributed database, I don't think it would make sense to centralize it. With the right moderation system, you might even be able to keep every circuit board from matching a porn site. ;)
  • by Anita Coney ( 648748 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @12:08PM (#9174067) Homepage
    ...that the celebrity I most resemble is Dennis Franz's ass!

  • Mirror (Score:3, Funny)

    by alexjohns ( 53323 ) <> on Monday May 17, 2004 @12:21PM (#9174179) Journal
    Well, I always see people mirroring stuff that's /.ed, so I figure it's about time that I lent a hand, so I'll mirror this one. I'll have to program it from scratch, though. Anybody got a clue as to how this whole 'eigen-whatever' works? I guess I'll use Open-GL for the image manipulation routines. Does everyone think that perl is the right language for this? Can someone give me a link to some perl vector routine tutorials? I'm also gonna need someone to provide hosting and bandwidth.

    But I'll get this up soon, I promise. It's about time I gave back to the community.

  • They may be voluntarily doing a beta test, but we're giving them an involuntary stress-test.

    They failed.
  • OSS eigenface lib (Score:4, Informative)

    by ikoleverhate ( 607286 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @12:26PM (#9174226)
    probably too late for anyone to see this, but look what I found: an open implementation hosted on sourceforge []
  • An extended use (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fireacc ( 671446 )
    It would be interesting to have them not limit the matches returned to just celebrities, but to return matches to other users of the system. Then you could see if you have an evil (or good) twin out there somewhere.
  • Slightly chilly feeling as a Brit when the software immediately matches my face with another Brit. (Brett Anderson)

    However....clicking on "More likenesses" matches me next with Yasser Arafat!!!

    Guess it's time for some extensive plastic surgery!
  • Trying this with photos of celebrities... I find that George W Bush (picture from the Wikipedia article) looks like: Olof Palme ("Tidligere statsminister, Sverige") and Martin Luther King.
  • I don't think we have much to worry about in the face-recognition department... I actually tried with a picture of Bill Gates, and they matched it to "Steinar Bastesen", a Norwegian fisherman and member of parliament, even though they've got Bill Gates in their archives...
  • by gUmbi ( 95629 ) on Monday May 17, 2004 @02:01PM (#9175120)
    Apparently I look like John Travolta - I'm now certain that this site is some kind of Scientologist conspiracy.
  • I submitted a few different photos of myself, and was variously matched with David Lee Roth, Ethan Hawke, Michael Jordan, and David Hyde Pierce. In watching the animation [] flipping back and forth between and Mr. Jordan, I could see why the machine matched us: the angle of the photo and the line of our smiles were the same. Same with my match to Mr. Pierce. [] If this is the state of the technology, I don't think there's much use for it yet in identifying crmininals.
    • Actually the technology works pretty well if properly applied! Like in all AI systems the ruling principal is "Junk in Junk out".

      I am not sure what the quality factors considered by the often ill-informed journalists were and I am not sure what the pictures uploaded by the /.ers look like but I would guess there is a difference in orientation, lighting, as well as size.

      The technology originated in the computer vision labs at MIT and if the orientation and lighting as well as size of the images are normali
  • at 18:00 GMT

    111::Michael Jordan
    108::John Kerry
    106::Jason Donovan
    105::Kristen Gislefoss
    104::Tobey Maguire
    102::David Bowie
    102::Anders Hatlo
    97::Noel Gallagher
    96::Arnulf Refsnes
    93::Per Christian Ellefsen
    93::Julianne Moore
    91::David Lee Roth
    90::Herborg Kråkevik
    88::Willie Nelson
    87::Wyclef Jean
    86::Otto Jespersen
    84::Arve Juritzen
    83::Gail Devers
    80::Debra Messing
    79::Benjamin Bratt
    78::Annette Bening
    77::Tyra Banks
    77::Gisken Armand
    77::Ethan Hawke
    76::Michael Keaton
    76::Kid Rock
    76::Drew Barrymore
    75::Ronny Johnsen
  • by Eric(b0mb)Dennis ( 629047 ) * on Monday May 17, 2004 @02:58PM (#9175735)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Eigenfaces are eigenvectors in the high-dimensional vector space of possible faces of human beings. These eigenvectors are used in the computer vision problem of human face recognition.

    Some eigenfaces.
    Eigenfaces also are linked to the slashdotting of many sites.

  • The best match for Saddam Hussein is what, 2 years old? =)
    The best matches for Osama Bin Laden and Josef Stalin are also quite young.. Maby someone should keep an eye on those kids just in case, but im sure the FBI already got it covered.

    Better keep an eye on that kid matching George W. Bush as well!
  • by dinohum ( 641425 )
    Tried it with a picture of Adolf Hitler, said it matched David Hasselhoff....then tried it with Margaret Thatcher and it matched Naomi Campbell...surely there is somebody with a sick sense of humor really making the matches. Though then again, I do hear Hasselhoff is popular in Europe.
  • I sh*t you not--my #5 match was Lorenzo Lamas, and the "next closest" was _Ariel Sharon_. I'm not saying that it's really _nothing but_ a random image picker under the hood...only that the results they're generating right now are no more useful (and no more accurate) than one.
  • This was most hilarious! Apparently I resemble J. Lo (not on a good day, folks), my 12 year old looks like Don Johnson, my dog looks like Marlon Brando... But i am most afraid my cat looks like the President of China. That explains a lot about the cat.
  • I always knew there was something familiar about Alec Baldwin []!

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