Prince George may only be two years old, but people are already wondering what the toddler could look like grown up. And although most people would just wonder aloud - scientists from the University of Bradford have gone way further by actually developing 'ageing' software. Seriously. they have!
The research, led by Hassan Ugail, Professor of Visual Computing, developed the software with an algorithm to determine what traits a child may have inherited from both parents, combining it to create a portrait of an individual's future appearance. To demonstrate, the team predicted what tiny George will look like, reaching into the future 2073 when he'll celebrate his 60th birthday. Is it just us or does he look a little like Liam Neeson?
Professor Ugail believes that without environmental factors affecting ageing, his software is about 80 percent accurate: higher than most ageing software. And although it'll be a long time until we know if Professor Ugail's prediction was correct, we can't help but wonder if Prince George would get a kick out of the comparison (we'd love to see that family album viewing).
For now, however, Professor Ugail admits he has already been approached to turn his software into an app. Its potential to trace missing children appeals to him more, though: 'We can actually look at a child's pictures, we can incorporate all the pictures available, we can also add information from parents, parental facial features, grandparental facial features if available and also other relatives in the family. So we can take all that information so the accuracy that we can predict would be much, much better compared to the current existing technology.'
So an app that is both fun and useful? We're sold.