Skynet Returns, Now Judging Beauty Pageants

Published in: News

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Imagine asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” and having the mirror actually answer. Someday soon it may — if the mirror contains computer chips programmed to run new software developed by Canadian university undergraduate student Joshua Chauvin.


Chauvin and fellow Canadian researches have found that a computer can be trained to rate human facial attractiveness the same way that people do.

To test their creation, the researchers asked a group of people to rate the attractiveness of other people in images, and then asked the computer to follow suit. Eighty-five percent of the time the computer’s ratings fell within one point of the human rating.

According to Chauvin…

“So what (the neural network is) doing is coming up with its own rating for those images based on some sort of understanding of what it thinks the population finds as attractive.”


The technology isn’t ready to start replacing beauty pageant judges yet, but who knows? To his credit, Chauvin sees the potential for more practical uses for it, like one day using the software to corroborate a doctor’s diagnoses by identifying certain facial characteristics of some diseases.

Perhaps less altruistically, he also sees the software being used by marketing and advertising companies to assess how their target audience may respond to the models hired for different ad campaigns.


This young researcher’s name (Chauvin) sounded French to me, so I pulled up Yahoo! Babel Fish to check the translation.

What are the odds? 🙂

Gotta love the irony

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 6 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rachel says:

    LOL I thought the same thing when I saw “chauvin.”

  2. Stephie says:

    ‘This isn’t the beauty contest your mother warned you about’

    Ha. Sorry I had to say that

  3. Hyzenthlay says:

    That’s perfect 🙂 Unrelated to this post, but related to another one . . . I checked out the Lancome Indigo Gel Liner and it went REALLY green on my skin! Both of the blue eyeshadows went purple! ARGH! Guess I’ll keep looking for a dark but bright blue eyeliner . . . Also, I bought the MAC Baby Blooms lip bag (they were sold out of the Fresh Cut bag) and I love it 🙂 Thank you for all of your suggestions!

  4. Jenna says:

    LOL. I actually didn’t believe you, I thought you had photoshopped that page, so I went to look it up myself.

    What a fitting name for him!!!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for sharing that article… amazingly enough, some of my colleagues are working on a project to develop a mirror that can recognize signs of disease in the face or monitor changes. I will have to send them this article!

  6. Sarahc says:

    lol! I can’t believe that guy’s name. I wonder if it was a coincidence or if he picked that kind of research because of his name. 🙂

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