The world of technology is getting a step forward with each passing day. And now, a new computer tool is been developed by scientists that can predict how the facial features of an individual will transform with age. This approach can be used to search individuals who have been disappeared for a long time. A research team at the University of Bradford, UK, has developed a way that determines the key features, such as the outline of the mouth, forehead, and cheek, of a face at a specific age. The method uses a process of predictive modeling and relates it to age progression.
The team used a process known as de-ageing, through which they take an image of an individual and their algorithm is executed backward to de-age that individual to a younger age.Further, the model is supported by integrating facial data from a huge database of people at diverse ages, thus training the machine the way humans actually age. The results were then compared with an actual image of the person clicked at the young age.
The team selected the case of Ben Needham as a test case. He went missing on July 24, 1991, from the Greek island of Kos, when he was just 21-month old and has not been seen again. Investigators generated numerous images representing how Ben may look at ages 20–22, 17–20, and 11–14.The new technique was used by the team to produce Ben’s image at ages of 22, 24, and 6. Two things are required to be done by an effective method, the images created should fit the proposed age and they require to preserve the individuality of the person in age-progressed images, according to the researchers.
The outcomes were assessed with the use of human as well as machine methods, and Ben’s images produced using the new technique were observed to be more like the original image of Ben in comparison to the pictures produced in the earlier investigations.
Professor Hassan Ugail, University of Bradford, said, “We are representing our work as an enhancement and development that can play a role to this significant zone of police work.”