Determining whether or not a face is attractive no longer requires human computation. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have implemented an automated system to judge whether a face is attractive or not. (Via Instapundit.) The system is based on the idea that the most beautiful face is one whose features are close to the average.
The psychological research doesn’t sound new; I first heard the observation that beautiful equals average about 20 years ago. On the other hand, the vision problems implicit in the project sound hard. (For example, the article doesn’t say this, but surely they must locate the cheekbones in order to judge whether a face is attractive.)
In a way, though, this work is a pity. Now that a computer can tell whether a face is attractive, we’ll have to give up any hope that people will start using CAPTCHAs based on pretty faces. Oh well.