Washington: If you are imagining what your child will look like when he or she grows up, a computer could now answer that question in less than a minute.
University of Washington researchers have developed software that automatically generates images of a young child`s face as it ages through a lifetime.
The technique is the first fully automated approach for aging babies to adults that works with variable lighting, expressions and poses.
Using one photo of a 3-year-old, the software automatically renders images of his face at multiple ages while keeping his identity.
"Aging photos of very young children from a single photo is considered the most difficult of all scenarios, so we wanted to focus specifically on this very challenging case," Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering said.
"We took photos of children in completely unrestrained conditions and found that our method works remarkably well," the researcher said.
The research team has posted a paper on the new technique and will present its findings at the June IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Columbus, Ohio.
The shape and appearance of a baby`s face - and variety of expressions - often change drastically by adulthood, making it hard to model and predict that change.
This technique leverages the average of thousands of faces of the same age and gender, then calculates the visual changes between groups as they age to apply those changes to a new person`s face.
More specifically, the software determines the average pixel arrangement from thousands of random Internet photos of face s in different age and gender brackets. An algorithm then finds correspondences between the averages from each bracket and calculates the average change in facial shape and appearance between ages.
These changes are then applied to a new child`s photo to predict how she or he will appear for any subsequent age up to 80.
This research was funded by Google and Intel Corp.