Last year there was a brief debate on whether beauty (as a surrogate for
aesthetics in general) could be defined mathematically instead of requiring
artistic skill. This has strong implications for design practice -
particularly if software can simply 'maximise beauty' automatically in a
similar way to reducing red-eye. This would reduce the need for many
professional artistic or design skills to do with creating better visual
aesthetics in a competitive business environment.
The ACM (see below) reports that researchers in Israel have developed new
software that can automatically enhance visual beauty of a face in an image
by manipulating 250 numerical characteristics of the shape of the face.
Beauty at the click of an interface icon.
Importantly, for Design Research, it implies it is straightforward to
identify general technical processes by which the techniques of
automatically improving visual aesthetics can be applied to any designed
objects that are relatively common - and perhaps even to 'new' objects'. It
would be interesting to extend the approach to abstract objects, e.g.
entities in the realm of mathematics assessed in terms of 'elegance'.
Dr. Terence Love
Tel/Fax: +61 (0)8 9305 7629
Mobile: 0434975 848
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ACM Technical News 5 Feb 2007-02-06
Israeli Researchers Promise a More Beautiful You
Israel21c (02/04/07) Kloosterman, Karen
Computer scientists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed a computer
program that can make an image of a person's face more attractive. The
program is based upon a survey of 300 men and women who were asked to rank
pictures of other people's faces on an attractiveness scale of one to seven.
These results were correlated with exact measurements and ratios of facial
features to produce an algorithm that can add desired elements of beauty to
the image of a face. The program works in just minutes, and in a test
conducted using large sample of volunteers 79 percent said the program,
Beauty Function, made the face more attractive. TAU co-researcher Daniel
Cohen-Or says, "Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is merely a
function of mathematical distances or ratios. And interestingly, it is
usually the average distances to features which appears to most people to be
the most beautiful." Its creators believe that Beauty Function could become
popular among plastic surgeons, or even become a "must-have" option for
cameras, "just like the red-eye function is today," said co-researcher
For fuller report see