Google may have settled a longstanding debate about whether it’s Bill Murray or Tom Hanks featured in a popular Facebook post.
The photo was uploaded to a group called “Reasons My Son Is Crying”, and depicts a man mimicking a crying toddler’s expression. It was the kid’s mother who uploaded the photo, and she included a caption saying, “He met Bill Murray.” Many commenters disagreed, saying the man in the photo is actually Tom Hanks.
Now, at the behest of The Atlantic‘s Adrienne Lafrance, an MIT researcher has uploaded the photo to Google Image Search to get an answer, since training a machine learning facial recognition system just for this exercise would probably have been a waste of time. While uploading the full image didn’t resolve the dispute, since Google’s algorithms factored the many online comments about the photo debate into the search, a snippet focused on the eyes and nose of the mystery celebrity turned up a firm verdict: It is indeed Bill Murray.
It’s a testament to the sophistication of today’s biometric technology that even a widely available online resource like Google Image Search can perform this kind of detective work. But it’s still no match for artistry of a talented performer: Lafrance’s upload of just Bill Murray’s mouth led Google Image Search to suggest that it “was probably a picture of a newborn baby.” MIT’s system probably wouldn’t have made that mistake.
Source: The Atlantic
October 28, 2016 – by Alex Perala