Boffins invent a beauty engine: but do they really make us look better?
So now there's a thing to make photos of people's faces more beautiful in a subtle and personalised way. A useful exercise, I'm sure, and no doubt a boon for magazine editors and skin cream marketers, but even aside from the beauty-politic controversy, an obvious question - does it actually make people look better?
Michael Cera, as regular readers might know, is the subject of an unwholesome - if mild - Dollymix obsession. We love his quirky face and his wimpy, sensitive characters (I actually just typed 'we love his sensitive parts'). Does he look better? Or just a bit grumpy? Does Woody Allen? How about Brigitte Bardot, now turned utterly generic by a computer program?
It's all fascinating stuff, of course, but in the battle of man and machine, I think it's our complex human perceptions that come out on top. Suddenly having a mole, or a big mouth, or a funny shaped head or whatever doesn't seem like such a bad thing.