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Updated May 01, 2015 at 05:51PM EDT by Don.

Added May 01, 2015 at 04:22PM EDT by Don.

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About is a web application developed by Microsoft which uses facial-recognition technology to predict the age and sex of people pictured in photographs submitted to the site. Upon its release in late April 2015, the hashtag #HowOldRobot became a trending topic on Twitter as many users began tweeting about the poor accuracy of the app's predictions.


In April 2015, Microsoft launched the site as a public demo for their web application "How Old," inviting users to submit photographs for their algorithm to guess their age and sex (shown below). The site was created to promote the Azure Machine Learning Gallery collection of machine learning projects analyzing speech, facial recognition, vision and text. HOW OLD DO I LOOK? #HowOldRobot Search Faces. Use This Photo Use your own photo Max Photo Size 3MB


On April 29th, the tech news blog Technet[5] published an article on their Machine Learning Blog authored by Microsoft engineers Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian, who described what it was like to work on the application. On the following day, the tech news blog Overmental[2] and BuzzFeed[3] highlighted several screenshots of the app guessing the age and sex of various celebrities and fictional characters (shown below).


Also on April 30th, many Twitter users shared their results from using the application with the hashtag #HowOldRobot,[14] with many mocking this software's inaccurate predictions. That day, the hashtag received over 46,000 mentions according to the Twitter analytics site Topsy.[6] In the coming days, several other news sites published articles about the online reaction to the web application, including UpRoxx,[4] The Daily Dot,[7] Today,[8] Tech Crunch,[9] The Guardian,[10] Mashable,[11] US Weekly[12] and The Verge.[13]

Steve Harvey Nation IAmSteveHarvey * Follow Had to give this a try... Guess I look pretty good for my age. #58andFly #HowOldRobot RETWEETS FAVORITES 41 126 2:15 PM-1 May 2015 2K United Kingdom @2K UK Follow We checked how old everyone in #Borderlands is with #HowOldRobot The results are.., interesting HOW OLD DO 1 LOOK? BURDERLANDS THE HANDSOME COLLECTION THEPRE-SEQUEL 46 RETWEETS FAVORITES 14 30


According to Microsoft engineers Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian, the website was initially sent out in an email to only a few hundred people but had reached over 35,000 users within three hours of launch.[5]

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