Microsoft’s Age Guessing App Hints at Future of Machine Learning

A new Microsoft app does something even IBMEUs brilliant Watson supercomputer doesnEUt claim to do -- and the concept is spreading like wildfire. How-Old.net wants to guess your age. (I tried it and it was four years off, but I like to think I look good for my age.)

How-Old.net started as an experiment with MicrosoftEUs newly released face detection APIs. Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian, Engineers in Information Management and Machine Learning at Microsoft, explained in a blog post that they expected 50 users for this test but have seen tens of thousands of people flock to the site during this week's Microsoft Build Developer Conference.

EUWe were shocked. Within a few hours, over 35,000 users had hit the page from all over the world (about 29k of them from Turkey, as it turned out -- apparently there were a bunch of tweets from Turkey mentioning this page),EU they wrote. EUWhat a great example of people having fun thanks to the power of [machine learning].EU

Machine Learning Apps Made Easy

What may be more interesting is that it only took a couple of developers one day to create How-Old.net and itEUs fairly accurate. The developers created a pipeline from the How-Old.net Web page to MicrosoftEUs machine learning APIs to real-time streaming analytics and real-time business intelligence. Altogether, this truly demonstrates the power of Azure services, they said.

EUWe wanted to create an experience that was intelligent and fun [and] could capture the attention of people globally, so we looked at the APIs available in the Azure Machine Learning Gallery,EU Thompson and Balasubramanian said. EUWe found the ability of the face API to estimate age and gender to be particularly interesting and chose this aspect of it for our project. To make the experience more fun we used the face API alongside the Bing search...

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