People Think That The 10 Year Challenge Is Being Used To Train A Facial Age Recognition Algorithm


Goddammit Facebook.

That 10 year age challenge/puberty challenge that’s going around Facebook and the rest of social media is a hell of a laugh isn’t it? Soooo funny seeing what Mike from accounts looked like back in the day, right?

Featured Image VIA

Whilst it might be a bit of a hoot (not really), some people in the tech industry are worried that it’s something entirely more sinister. Tech expert Kate O’Neill outlined these thoughts in a recent tweet that has since gone viral, as well as explaining what she meant in more detail in an article on Wired:

Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older).

Ideally, you’d want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people’s pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years.

I’m not saying anyone should panic or feel bad. It’s simply worth becoming more mindful of how our data can be used.

We don’t need to be wary of everything; we just need to think critically, and learn more about the potential our data has at scale. We’re all still learning.

I mean it’s a good shout isn’t it, and given all the dastardly plots that Facebook have been involved in recently and admitted that they’ve been involved in – hello Cambridge Analytica – it’s kind of a prerequisite when you’re using the platform to assume that they’re using your data for evil purposes. Granted, you probably don’t really care if they’re using your pictures to create an age progression/recognition algorithm, but like Kate says, you probably want to at least be mindful or what you’re sharing here.

Of course, I was never gonna share anything like that because I looked dope in 2009 and not so great now, but if by some miracle you actually look better/cooler this year maybe think twice before you share it? Could come back to bite you in the ass, although I’m sure all those likes will probably be wroth it.

For more of the same, check out the hot coil challenge. One of the dumber things the internet has had to offer us.


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