Statistics with a human face

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in News

Report from one of the sessions at the RSS 2017 Conference. More reports of conference sessions are listed here.

The tech world is abuzz over rumours that Apple’s iPhone 8 will have a 3D camera that can scan faces – but University of Glasgow statistics professor Adrian Bowman has been experimenting with the technology for years.

During Tuesday morning’s opening plenary at the Royal Statistical Society conference, Bowman talked delegates through his work creating 3D models of faces using stereoscopic cameras; each face created from 100,000 reference points.

With these models, Bowman and his team investigate a host of topics: the variability in face shapes, modelling and quantifying asymmetry in individuals, the differences in appearance between men and women, and helping surgeons help patients who require facial reconstruction surgery.

In one particularly engaging demonstration of the technology and its applications, Bowman showed an animation of a baby’s face morphing into that of its 15-year-old self.

The iPhone 8 has a lot to live up to.

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