Researchers succeed in digital image manipulation experiment

Researchers at MIT have been able to digitally manipulate people’s photographs to make them more memorable. Their experiment had a 74% accuracy success, paving new ways as to how digital image manipulation can enhance a person’s memorability in an era of constant social media bombardment and content consumption.

The scientists at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory identified four factors that render faces more memorable. These are uniqueness, trustworthiness, kindness and familiarity. If a person’s photograph expresses any or all of these traits, that face is more likely to be remembered. Face memorability can be crucial, whether it’s a job interview or sourcing new clients, it’s a driving force that can contribute to your professional success.

The focus of this research and future experiments is to discover the best approach to digital image manipulation that will keep emotions, age and other personal characteristics intact, but it will make the person appear more kind, trustworthy, unique and familiar through a series of subtle manipulations.

Image manipulation for memorability raises concerns over the ethical implications of this practice. People could photoshop their selfies, job application portraits and LinkedIn images to make a long-lasting, positive impression. Do we classify this as digital cheating, or is it merely upselling an individual? A sensible question others ask is how digital face manipulation is any different from using make-up?

In their research article, apart from social networking and employment prospects boosting, the MIT researchers also point out to how digital photo enhancement for memorability can have many applications in the industries of the computer video and graphics, entertainment, as well as marketing and advertising.

Would you edit or manipulate and image of yourself to gain an advantage? Do you think this has any online security implications? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.