Thanks to tech, beauty is in the AI of the beholder

Ideas

Thanks to tech, beauty is in the AI of the beholder

Facial recognition apps can instantly make you look better — with serious implications for self-image

Johan Steyn

What makes something beautiful? It seems that the answer to that question has been observed by the curious and the learned for centuries.

Great minds such as Pythagoras, Euclid and artistic geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci and Salvador Dalí knew about it. We know it as the golden ratio, represented by the Greek letter phi. In numbers, it is 1.61803398875 (the decimals go on forever). Another way to look at the golden ratio is to use the Fibonacci sequence in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. 

The beauty of this ratio has been observed in nature, earning it the name of the divine proportion. We notice the design in almost everything we can see, such as seashells, ocean waves, pine cones, aloes, fern fiddleheads and chameleon tails. On a grander scale, this design is visible in hurricanes or an expansive spiral galaxy...

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