Yes, this research tells us that we can model something, based on
simplified determinations of the averaged decision of a collection of
humans, that will allow us to change images of faces so that the
better match the model built. That means precisely that all the
beauty (if that's what it is) is in the eyes of the (collective of)
beholders. It also means the outcome is not aesthetic but the outcome
of a crude psychological sampling technique. Is this beauty? It's
certainly not aesthetics.
Of course, tricks like this are fascinating and create possibilities
we'd not previously had. But understanding? I don't think there's
much there: it's sort of geeky and trivial, but with the usual
inflation of the computer world, and the usual blindness of the
mechanist to what designers actually do.
Reminds me a bit of a charming mathematician who told me that
Hundertwasser was the only decent architect: he wasn't prepared to
listen when I explained that what Hundertwasser does is about as far
removed from architecture as anything I can imagine.
Goodnight, my beauties!