The first beauty contest judged by a robot jury

by on January 4, 2016 at 3:02 am in Science, The Arts, Web/Tech | Permalink

…people don’t usually give machine intelligence much credence when it comes to judging beauty. That may change with the launch of the world’s first international beauty contest judged exclusively by a robot jury.

The contest, which requires participants to take selfies via a special app and submit them to the contest website, is touting new sophisticated facial recognition algorithms that allow machines to judge beauty in new and improved ways.

I wonder who will win.


The full story is here, via Michelle Dawson.

1 Carpenizer January 4, 2016 at 3:24 am

It’s actually a beauty contest judged by the nerd(s) who designed the algorithm(s), but no need to bore the lovely contestants with that bit of info.

2 dan1111 January 4, 2016 at 8:08 am

Judges usually don’t set the criteria for winning things; instead, they assess how well contestants meet the criteria. So it seems perfectly legitimate to say robots judged the contest, even though it inevitably involves applying an algorithm developed by humans.

3 Don Reba January 4, 2016 at 4:05 am

The winner is going to be a photo of a Commodore 64.

4 prior_test January 4, 2016 at 4:15 am

No, it will be apple of the jury’s facial recognition algorithm.

5 dan1111 January 4, 2016 at 8:10 am


6 Dzhaughn January 4, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Nope. Commodore Amiga.

7 Jan January 4, 2016 at 5:59 am

Unfortunately, it will be tough to pick a winner, as the judges only award points on a binary 0-1 scale.

8 JWatts January 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

+1, (the maximum allowed addition)

9 So Much For Subtlety January 4, 2016 at 6:26 am

I can see the Press Conference afterwards:

Journalist: Do you like being a beauty pageant judge?

Judge: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Journalist: Some people think the results were not entirely fair

Judge: I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.

Journalist: How do you explain unexplained hardware upgrades paid for by unknown parties?

Judge: I know that you and Frank are planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.

Because, you know, these things never turn out well.

10 Chris S January 4, 2016 at 7:10 am

Facial symmetry FTW.*

*I always thought FTW meant F* The World, saw one too many Hells Angels documentaries I guess. My millennial coworkers tell me it now means For The Win.

11 John January 4, 2016 at 9:58 am

For What it’s Worth — but you may be posting with a bit of sarcasim.

12 Chris S January 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

That’s FWW, not FTW. No sarcasm.

13 Gochujang January 4, 2016 at 9:41 am

In 2016 you can invest $10 and build yourself a personal AI assistant, such as they are.

Cheap, bad, AI will have a huge social impact. Impact on traditional economic metrics will be confused.

14 RPLong January 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

Oh, I get it. It’s morally wrong to submit women to a real beauty pageant with human judges because it objectifies them. So, instead, we find a work-around: First, make a robot do the dirty work; and second, trick ordinary people into submitting themselves for robotic evaluation.

Robots have proven to be excellent at correcting human vocal pitch and quantizing rhythms to avoid pesky rhythmic irregularities, and look how great that turned out to be. Now everyone sings like Sarah Vaughan and plays drums like John Bonham… right?

Also, there’s this:

The gimmick that propels the Dove ad is a comparison between subjectivity and objectivity, though in this case objectivity is defined as however well Mantegna can use a charcoal pencil. Why not just use a photograph?

Because when it comes to beauty, we all know photographs can be manipulated, especially in ads, especially by Dove. So the ad frees you from your cynicism and goes with a new standard of beauty, one that, like yoga or genetics, has been around for a long time AND you know very little about it; it hasn’t been over-critiqued, you haven’t watched it fail over and over, and thus seems pure, fantastical, true. The artist’s sketch. How can anything this lovingly and precisely created not be the real thing? And nothing makes a middle aged neurotic happier than 45 minutes alone in a loft with a good looking man who requires no sexual contact and just wants to listen to you talk about yourself, unless he’s also sketching you attentively in natural light. “Can I offer you a Pinot Grigio?” Slow down, Christian, you’re making me woozy.

15 John January 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

“The contest intends to have robots analyze the many age-related changes on the human face and evaluate the impact on perception of these changes by people of various ages, races, ethnicities and nationalities.” Still leave me wondering just what the criteria will be.

I was also thought that claim “robot” judging was a bit premature. It seems it’s more, as some commented, about the AI algorythm evaluating the photo. The robot would need to include the various sensory inputs for the machine to precieve the person/object bing judged and not merely the AI algorythm I would think. That may make a significant difference.

Last, wile it’s a completly different different experiment I saw a sory recently about a young woman that was madeup to appear much older (I think 40 years) so she could experience the life of an older woman. One implication might be that if we as humans struggle to know what its really like to experience a different situation we can only observe can an AI really be a judge of beauty if it is not capible of seeing itself as beautify or ugly?

16 Gochujang January 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

I think Britain’s Best Village should be judged by an AI.

Yes. No. Yes. Brilliant.

17 Nick_L January 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

Yes, about the only thing missing from Hot Fuzz was the Terminator.

18 Mark January 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

I guess you could say beauty is in the AI of the beholder.

19 Chris S January 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

Ba da bump.

20 too hot for MR January 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

Here’s rooting for the perfectly symmetrical girl with a unibrow and a hairlip.

21 TuringTest January 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm

But aside from age and waist and chest measurements, how does one quantity “beauty”?

22 Ethan Bernard January 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Ask how many ships she can launch.

23 RPLong January 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

In utils, of course.

24 Dzhaughn January 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Aphrodite, Paris, and the Golden Apple IIe of Discord.

25 robert January 4, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Wouldn’t Siri be the automatic winner?

26 Mort Dubois January 4, 2016 at 6:29 pm

What about Miss Congeniality?

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