How Your Kid Will Look Like at 20, 40 or 80? See It in Seconds!

Science Fields

Computer scientists at University of Washington have unveiled software which automatically produces in seconds, images of a young child’s face as he or she matures into youth, adulthood and old age. The automated technique of aging babies to adults works with different expressions, poses and lighting.

Tthe technique leverages the average of thousands of faces of the same age and gender  and then calculates the visual changes between groups as they age to apply those changes to a new person’s face, explains assistant professor Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman.

The software browses through thousands of Internet photos of faces in different age and gender brackets .  An algorithm then finds correspondences between the averages from each bracket and calculates the average change in facial shape and appearance between ages, which are then applied to a new child’s photo to predict how she or he will appear for any subsequent age up to 80.

This is a single photo of a child (far left) is age progressed (left in each pair) and compared to actual photos of the same person at the corresponding age (right in each pair). (U of Washington)

To measure the credibility of the rendered faces, researchers tested them against the actual images of 82 people photographed over years. They then asked test subjects to pick up the photo showing the correct age of the photographed person. The experiment showed that computer- generated renderings were picked as often as the actual photos. 

The age-progression will be especially useful in the search for missing children, according to the researchers who will present the software at the upcoming June conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Columbus, Ohio.


  • 1. “See what a child will look like using automated age-progression software”, University of Washington, 9 April 2014