Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Facing future

Arrested Development is one of the great, and way underrated, television comedies. Written, acted and edited to whip-smart perfection; if you like dark, surreal humour about family dysfunction you owe it to yourself to get familiar. I've just finished watching the first season again, which includes a typically bizarre exchange between Michael (Jason Bateman) and his twin sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) about one of Lindsay's doomed business ventures, "Mommy, What Will I Look Like?" (Bluthcyclopedia link).

Michael: Lindsay, I'm not just going to cut you a check so you can throw it away on another failed business, okay?

Lindsay: Hey! "Mommy, What Will I Look Like?" should have worked.

Narrator: Lindsay had once started a photo enhancing service, which gave new parents a glimpse at what their infants would look like in half a century.

Lindsay: You put an ugly kid in, you can't be surprised when an ugly adult comes out.





(Stills captured from Arrested Development, Season 1 Episode 22, "Let 'em Eat Cake")

In the same vein, and also scary as hell, I found a project called "Face of the Future" run by the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. You can upload photos and use the "Face Transformer", "Face Averager", or "Face Morpher" to manipulate them.

Here's me, shall we say, when I'm 64...


I'm not so sure about the full head of hair, but whatever shortcomings this has in terms of realism, it's still a bit unnerving to recognise the likeness in an image thus transformed.

No wonder "Mommy, What Will I look Like?" tanked.

4 comments:

Mark said...

Heh... And yikes!

stuart said...

Hi Mark. Heh, and yikes, indeed. By the way, nice blog!

Tom Sutpen said...

Egads, Stuart.

If that contraption is right, you'll end up looking like Kenneth Anger (ominous chord strikes).

stuart said...

Great. Decades from now, I won't look back in anger, I'll look back as Anger.