If you’ve ever wondered what your friends think about you, but haven’t had the money or time to get a shrink ray, shrink down and then take a magic school bus into their mind, then you could be in luck. Because University of Toronto students have created an algorithm that will tell you when you look horrible.
How does it work? Well, this algorithm (or, complex set of code) relies on what the students call “fashionability factors.” These include the garments worn, of course, but other considerations are the scene behind the person, how the image was taken, age, how visually appealing a person is and more. The report states, “The garment itself being fashionable is also not a perfect indicator of someone’s fashionability as people typically also judge how well the garments align with someone’s “look,” body characteristics, or even personality.”
The data set included 144,169 posts from chictopia.com, where users submit out of the day-style posts, consisting of six images at varying angles. What this determined was that public opinion acts as a “proxy” for fashionability. So, while we usually might look to fashion experts for the rules, this algorithm, constructed on factors derived from people who engage in fashion daily, could serve as a substitute. You can’t benefit from it just yet (like, there’s nowhere for you to upload your photos), as this was just something created for school, but it’s quite compelling. It’s essentially a for fashion.
This algorithm begins with facial recognition, which scores your ethnicity, emotions, beauty and age. Then, your highest scoring photo is chosen from the set. It then digs through its collection of data, from popular tags to popular outfit posts, and then performs a cross-analysis with your geolocation data. Based on where you are, how you look and what’s in style where you are, this algorithm can determine if you are wearing a hideous garbage sack of an outfit. Basically, it’s so smart, that it’s the digital age equivalent of Joan Rivers (RIP).
If you want to read the whole study, complete with equations and streams of data, check it out here.