Federal grant to develop photo-based fat estimator

Federal grant to develop photo-based fat estimator

[Ed. – Maybe the NSA will be trolling your Facebook photos on FLOTUS’s behalf now.  But there’s always the commercial application suggested by the passage in bold.  “State of health.”  Right.]

The federal government is developing a body mass index (BMI) detector intended to be available to every American “anywhere and anytime,” according to a grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The detector is expected to rely on the analysis of facial and body imagery.

The project has been awarded $200,113 thus far to create the system under the notion that too many obese individuals are unaware of their BMI. …

Guodong Guo, an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at West Virginia University, is leading the project. Guo previously created a system that predicted BMIs from mug shots.

Guo said that his facial recognition BMI predictor could be used for online dating, so an individual can know the “state of health of people you might date.”

The accuracy of BMI has been the subject of long debate, with some researchers arguing that BMI has little value because it cannot distinguish between fat and muscle. BMI screenings in schools have also been criticized as invasive. Mandatory screenings in Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, and Illinois have resulted in children being sent home with “fat letters.”

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