Spotting Faces In The Clouds Using Computer Vision

Shinseungback Kimyonghun <i>Cloud Faces</i> project shows that spotting images in the clouds isn't just for human eyes.

Installation view

Spotting shapes and forms in the clouds is every child's right. And it's a must for lead characters in cheesy rom-coms if they're laying down in a field, too. But it's not just an activity for human eyes, the machines want in on the action. Korean art collective Shinseungback Kimyonghun's—Kim Yong Hun and Shin Seung Back—Cloud Face project uses computer vision to peer up into the clouds and detect human faces.

Using face-detection algorithms the system looks at cloud formations and detects what it thinks is a human face. The duo then collated these for an installation to highlight how computer vision can sometimes trump human eyes. And sometimes not—but exploring this discrepancy was all part of the project's goal.

Animation showing the face detection process

"Cloud Face is a collection of cloud images that are recognized as human face by a face-detection algorithm." they say. "It is a result of computer’s vision error, but they look like faces to human eyes, too. This work attempts to examine the relation between computer vision and human vision."

You can check out the results below, but stand back from your screen because the closer you are the less face-like they appear.

Images courtesy of Shinseungback Kimyonghun

[via Peta Pixel]