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MIT Algorithm Tries to Predict How Many Likes Your Photo Will Get Per Day



A photographer’s primary concern when taking a photo might not be “I wonder how many likes this will get,” but being able to gauge popularity could still come in handy when you’re trying to decide which photos to upload to your favorite sharing site.

Enter MIT PhD candidate Aditya Khosla and his new algorithm that does just that: tells you how popular your photos will be before you even upload them.

Khosla works in MIT’s much-revered Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and he recently used 2.3 million images from Flickr to create an algorithm that can rank the potential popularity of an image. Factors that make an image more popular include mini skirts, bright colors and people. Things that affect an image negatively: plungers and golf carts.

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These results are given to you on a scale from 0 to 10, which can then be converted to a potential “likes-per-day” on a log scale.

“If the score is 5, we expect roughly 2^5 = 32 views on your image per day,” Khosla tells The Verge. “If it’s 6, roughly 2^6 = 64.” You can even put a few of your own images through a stripped down version of the algorithm by clicking here.

I ran one of my own and Ben Von Wong’s photo that he took for Saving Eliza. Not surprisingly, the one by the professional photographer is expected to do better.



Of course, the stripped down version isn’t going to be nearly as accurate because it doesn’t take into account things like how many followers you have, how many groups you belong to and how long you’ve been a member (remember, this is based on Flickr) but it’s still interesting to see how a computer believes a photo’s content will affect its popularity.

To find out more, read the full paper by clicking here. And if you want to try it out for yourself, you can do so here. Fair warning though, the website has experienced a bit of traffic overload so wait times might be substantial.

(via The Verge via PopPhoto)