Skip to main content

Facial-recognition algorithm will tell you if you look more like Clinton or Trump

how to follow election results online 2016 presidential trump clinton debate watch
Image used with permission by copyright holder
It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were two of the most popular Halloween costumes this year.

But how much do you resemble either of the presidential candidates for the 2016 election cycle, without the use of fake tan or pantsuits? Ntechlab, the company behind one of the world’s most accurate facial recognition systems, want to give you a way of finding out.

FaceElections 2016 is a project designed to give everyone the opportunity to compare their face to the faces of the two main presidential candidates in America,” Ntechlab co-founder Alexander Kabakov told Digital Trends. “We’ve got maybe the best algorithm in the world for facial recognition, and we thought it would be interesting to voters to be able to see the degree of similarity they share, expressed as a number.”

Ntechlab’s FindFace system made waves last year when its beat one developed by Google for University of Washington’s Megaface Championship 2015. At the event, FindFace achieved an impressive 73 percent accuracy with a database of 1 million pictures. When that number dropped to 10,000 images, the system’s accuracy rose to 95 percent.

Since then, it has used its expertise to create a facial recognition-based dating app which has racked up more than 1 million users — although the idea of doing a new project based on this year’s presidential race proved too tempting to ignore.

FaceElection 2016 is a free website, which lets users upload an image of themselves and the website assigns a similarity score to both Clinton and Trump.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Does it work? Given that there is no objective measure to be had on whether we really are facially 54 percent Donald Trump, it is tough to determine for certain. Uploading pictures of ourselves never resulted in looking more Hillary than Donald, although the numbers did change depending on the image we uploaded. On the other hand, images of Trump and Clinton throughout their lives were successfully recognized as the person in question.

One interesting detail is that Kabakov said that the neural network used for measuring similarity was tweaked to avoid weighting gender too heavily. “We developed a gender-tolerant algorithm so that your own gender and that of the candidate is not taken too much into consideration,” he said. “If you’re a woman, it won’t automatically say you’re similar to Hillary Clinton, while men won’t automatically be taken as looking similar to Donald Trump. Gender is one of the points of similarity, but it’s not the main one. We have many others, such as the type of face, the sizes of eyes and more.”

So do voters tend to vote for candidates who look like them, like the old saying about dogs resembling their owners (or vice versa)? “We haven’t researched that, but it’s definitely an interesting question,” Kabakov laughed.

Maybe we will find out as people share the results on social media.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more