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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What does the average Alabama girl look like?

Okay, I was inspired by my previous posting (the composite faces of women from different countries) to try my own hand at this. Instead of different countries, though, I thought I would try different U.S. States. I was wondering mainly if you could tell physical differences between the faces of girls from different parts of the U.S.

In alphabetical order, the first up was Alabama. I used pics from Myspace and color photos from various online college newspapers, so what follows is a composite face of a white college-aged girl from Alabama:

Now, there are two big, distinct populations in Alabama: white and black. I wanted to do them both. So why didn't I? Well, does anybody remember the hullabaloo from last year about facial recognition software being unable to recognize black faces? I'm here to assure you it's all true!! My software, presumably designed by white and Asian programmers, literally can't tell a black woman's face from her shoulder! Sometimes the software would assume the entire picture was the face! So unfortunately I'm still working on a composite face for college-aged black women of Alabama. Sorry about that. I really need pretty close-up, front-on photos of black women's faces or the software just doesn't do a good job.

So, if anybody wants to be part of this crazy little project, let me know and I'll provide my email. Alternatively you can just point to places online where I can find pics for my composites. I'm hoping to use only pics of "natives" of each particular state, since the historical migration patterns around the U.S. have been different from region to region.

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