New technology that uses your face to tell how long you will live

Facial recognition technology is all set to go personal. A new system being worked on by scientists would soon be able to tell how long a person would live, based on how much his/her face has aged.


Still in its nascent stage, the technology would use a computer to scan photographs of faces to detect signs of aging. Using the subject’s gender, race and smoking history, etc. it would check the eyes, brows, mouth, cheek and jowl for dark spots, drooping, signal lines and other changes that would then be compared with other people with the same age and background.

Using facial recognition to predict longevity has interested both insurance companies who can use it to determine premiums. It can also act as a health reminder for individuals to get their lives back on track before it is too late.

Founders Olshansky and Karl Ricanek recently launched a website inviting individuals from around the world to submit their photos. Their database aptly named “Face My Age” would give more accurate results are more people join. Olshansky and Karl are hoping to attract more than 20000 participants with photos as well as basic biographical information.


At first, the system would only provide the participant’s age, but would start providing more detailed information as it is refined. Of course, how well the system works would depend on the number of participants who die in the years to come. However, the researchers received a major boost by gaining access to photos of individuals taken years ago, with many of them presumably dead now. Knowing their date of death would allow the researchers to find out exactly how accurate the system is in predicting the longevity of an individual. This would also help the system start providing life span estimates to new participants within the next 18 months.

Olshansky believes that insurance companies, financial institutions, health advocates as well as other scientists can use this face recognition system effectively. He also believes getting to know his/her face-age analysis and longevity would prompt an individual to adopt healthier habits in order to increase his/her life span.

A new and more personalized facial recognition system by Olshansky and Karl Ricanek can predict the lifespan of an individual by assessing his/her facial features. The researchers database ‘Face My Age’ is currently inviting participants to test the system. If successful, health insurance agents, health advocates and financial institutions, etc can use it effectively. Participants can also it to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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