This computer determined the best way to crop your selfie

There are a lot of unspoken rules about what makes a good selfie.

It turns out how selfies are cropped makes a huge difference, according to a new artificial intelligence (AI) system built by Stanford University researcher Andrej Karpathy.

He built a deep learning system that analysed 2 million selfies and then could predict which would attract the most likes.

Strangely enough, Karpathy found that the AI gave higher scores to selfies that were slightly tilted and cropped so as to cut off the person’s forehead, at least if it featured a woman.

After training the program, he used it to study what crops work best by having the program analyse and rate multiple different crops of the same image to see which came out the winner.

The more prominently the person’s face was featured, the higher the score (above the image). In each instance, the AI system also loved when the person’s forehead was completely chopped off.

“Amusingly, in the image on the bottom right the ConvNet decided to get rid of the “self” part of
selfie, entirely missing the point,” Kaparthy writes. Here’s a few more examples he included in the post:

Interestingly these same cropping rules don’t necessarily apply for men. The best men’s selfies were more widely cropped so the person’s whole head and shoulders are in frame, like the images below. So, men, take a step back.

Read more about how the AI works.

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