New vision algorithm will label you ‘goth,’ try to sell you black makeup

A new vision algorithm


University of California, San Diego researchers have developed an algorithm that’s quite impressive from a computer science standpoint, but might give some people flashbacks to high school. The technique uses machine learning to figure out the most-common visual characteristics of certain groups of people (e.g., hipsters, goths and surfers) and trains an algorithm that can label group photos accordingly.

This way, you don’t have to tell a site like Facebook that you’re into The Cure or many-zippered pants — it will know just from looking at your pictures. When it comes to labeling people, though, the algorithm is an equal opportunity offender. It’s trained to identifty eight popular subcultures, according to Wikipedia: biker, country, goth, heavy metal, hip hop, hipster, raver and surfer. However, “star quarterback with a new Mustang” isn’t one of them.

Jokes aside, this is a pretty interesting project from a computer vision perspective, even if the…

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