The braniacs at MIT have created an algorithm to determine the “memorability” of a photograph. The deep learning-based technology “learned” what makes a photo memorable by evaluating the rankings from 5,000 human volunteers, and even indicates which portions of an image it considers to be memorable with a heatmap depiction. The algorithm is allegedly as good as a human in determining what makes a memorable photograph.
But ranking a photo based purely on aesthetics isn’t necessarily how humans associate photographs. Context matters. Where was I? What was I doing? What is this photo representative of? I decided to test the algorithm against TIME magazine’s top 10 photos of 2015.