When a child goes missing, it can take years to find them. This presents a problem for law enforcement and search teams because a child’s face can change a lot in a fairly short period of time. In the past, searchers had to rely on an artist’s best guess as to what they would look like as teens. If the artist is way off, that severely limits the child’s chances of ever being found.
So to meet the need for more accurate imaging, scientists have developed facial progression software to get a more detailed idea of how a face can change over the years. Unfortunately, this too has some frustrating challenges. For one, it’s incredibly difficult to get an accurate image out a single childhood picture, where the photo’s lighting or the child’s facial expression can make a world of difference.
So before the software can even age the child, they first have to correct turned heads, facial tilt, and inconsistent lighting. While facial progression software gets a child’s older facial characteristics closer than ever before, it’s no surprise that there’s still some discrepancy between the age-progressed image and the actual face.
Some redditors have taken an interest in this challenge and have decided to try their own age-progressed images using Photoshop and user-submitted images. Each image takes a long time and the subreddit is still very young, so results are quite scarce. Still, it’s interesting to compare the state-of-the-art images to an everyday citizen’s attempt and see how they match up.
So we bring you these 15 images that show just how difficult age progression really is.
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