Data-mined photos document 100 years of (forced) smiling

Here’s an odd fact: Turn-of-the-century photographers used to tell subjects to say “prunes” rather than “cheese,” so that they would smile less. By studying nearly 38,000 high-school yearbook photos taken since 1905, UC Berkeley researchers have shown just how much smiling, fashion and hairstyles have changed over the years. The goal was not just to track trends, but figure out how to apply modern data-mining techniques and machine learning to a much older medium: photographs. Their research could advance deep-learning algorithms for dating historical photos and help historians study how social norms change over time. The main challenge for the team was to collect enough photos to create an “average” student profile for each decade from the 1900s to the 2010s. Luckily, it’s now common for local libraries to digitally…


Link to Full Article: Data-mined photos document 100 years of (forced) smiling