Business Technology

Twitter users tried out Microsoft's new face recognition tool with interesting results...

5 min read

01 May 2015

Microsoft announced a whole host of new developer tools at its second keynote of the year, but Twitter was more preoccupied with the unveiling of its facial recognition website.

While Microsoft didn’t reel off quite as many announcements as it did for its first keynote of the company’s Build conference in San Francisco, it did display a set of new machine-learning APIs. 

Corporate vice president Joseph Sirosh encouraged everyone to test out its new face recognition tool how-old.net, but even he might have been surprised by how enthusiastically people took him up on the suggestion.

The site offers people the chance to upload photos of faces and then automatically assesses the age of the person (or people’s) in the picture.

It took Twitter by storm as people’s curiosity got the better of them, and everyone began uploading pictures. Those with slightly sensitive dispositions weren’t exactly pleased about the results. We’ve gathered some of the best tweets below.

Read more on the best Twitter reactions:

While the site quickly went viral, the demo in itself demonstrated some of the new developer services that Microsoft has been using in Project Oxford –  an evolving portfolio of REST APIs and SDK that aim to help developers build intelligent apps. Those on display allowed developers to add facial recognition to their apps – the tool then try and work out the age, passing on the information to developers.

Other tools will include speech recognition, and reportedly, eventually be able to help develops understand the intent of users too. Microsoft also had a vision API for categorising and automatic image crops that always moved the subject into the centre.

Twitter users though, were more concerned with what fateful news how-old.net was delivering to them.

Some even took to innovative approaches to appear more youthful…

And who could resist the opportunity to make fun of poor Microsoft?

Others of course, took the opportunity to really give the system a thorough test…

And a few just didn’t seem to be getting any recognition for their efforts…

Though, a few concerns were raised about privacy too: