Friday, November 4, 2011

Can't be done...quantification of human preferences

Wired Science...

The Mathematics of Beauty

Not everything can be quantified, especially when it comes to matters of the human heart and mind. For decades, psychologists and biologists have tried to represent physical beauty in formula form; but even if some tendencies emerge when hundreds of individual preferences are measured, what any one individual considers beautiful is impossible to predict.

Above is an equation from an unpublished attempt by Israeli computer scientists to design a program capable of quantifying the attractiveness of a face. "Y" is the empirical beauty score; at right, various measurements of how different features in a face compared to a baseline face. The program was brilliantly coded, but it didn't work very well.

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