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How-old.net guesses your age at your own peril

How-old.net is begging for a fight.

The insult-triggering website built by Microsoft guesses people’s ages and genders from a photo.

It’s an exercise in machine learning that caught on — Microsoft developers expected only about 50 people to test it, instead, the website has been used by more than 35,000 people.

“We were shocked,” wrote Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian in a blog they co-authored on TechNet.

Users can try it out using pre-canned images, or upload their own, if their skin is thick enough.

The tool isn’t always spot on. It estimates suspended senator Pamela Wallin is 87 (she’s 62).

But it’s not that far off with Mayor John Tory (open John Tory’s policard), who it suggests is 56 (he’s 60).


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