Silicon Valley

Microsoft has unveiled a free app that uses machine learning to improve selfies. Dubbed ‘Microsoft Selfie’, the app will enhance colour balance, skin tone, and lighting using 13 filter options. It’s one of the company’s latest attempts to use its intelligent processing software in consumer products. ‘The app takes age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables into account,’ the firm writes on the app store. ‘It applies different models automatically and finishes enhancement with just a single click. ‘Users can transform average photos into more presentable portraits in seconds. ‘Key features of this application are noise reduction, intelligent enhancement, automatic exposure and colour theme. The 13 filter options will clean up noise and add different themes to an image. Users also have the option to press and hold on the ‘compare’ button to see how they would look without any enhancements.

While they can’t target specific areas of their face, TheNextWeb notes the app is ideal for a general overall edit. One of the app’s most impressive abilities is the ability to detect the subject’s age from a photo. It follows the creation of a website by Microsoft earlier this year, called  How old do I look, which allows people to analyse any image to guess that person’s age.

It even allows users to search for celebrities - and see what Microsoft thinks their real ages are. The system works by analysing 27 points on the face.

Called face landmarks, they are a series of specifically detailed points on a face; typically points of face components like the pupils, canthus or nose. ‘This may be hard to believe but it took a couple of developers just a day to put this whole solution together, starting with the pipeline from the web page to the Machine Learning APIs to the real time streaming analytics and real time B,’ said Microsoft.