Computational Humanities Seminar Series: Estimating Remaining Lifespan from the Face

Computational Humanities Seminar Series

Date: Feb 24 (Friday) 10 AM, China time

Meeting ID: 987 3096 4006
Passcode: 2023

Abstract: The face is a rich source of information that can be utilized to infer a person’s biological age, sex, phenotype, genetic defects, and health status. All of these factors are relevant for predicting an individual’s remaining lifespan. In this study, we collected a dataset of over 24,000 images (from Wikidata/Wikipedia) of individuals who died of natural causes, along with the number of years between when the image was taken and when the person passed away. We made this dataset publicly available. We fine-tuned multiple Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models on this data, at best achieving a mean absolute error of 8.3 years in the validation data using VGGFace. However, the model’s performance diminishes when the person was younger at the time of the image. To demonstrate the potential applications of our remaining lifespan model, we present examples of using it to estimate the average loss of life (in years) due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to predict the increase in life expectancy that might result from a health intervention such as weight loss. Additionally, we discuss the ethical considerations associated with such models.

Speaker: Amir Fekrazad is currently an Assistant Professor at the College of Business at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. He holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Toosi University of Technology in Iran. His research areas encompass behavioral economics, specifically in the context of the payday loan market, housing market, and stock market. Additionally, he has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and its applications.

More about Computational Humanities Seminar Series

Computational Humanities and Social Science: A Seminar and Workshop Series” features lectures, workshops, and roundtable discussions with leading experts and practitioners in computational humanities and social sciences from all over the world. Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center at Duke Kunshan, this series covers various aspects of computational analysis, humanistic interpretation, data visualization, as well as other data-related topics in media, design, and philosophy.

The series welcomes faculty and students from all disciplines and majors. It aims to provide an opportunity to learn about fundamental computational techniques and their applications in humanistic fields. It also aims to create a beginner-friendly environment to exchange ideas, expand networks, and advance collaboration.

This series is led and organized by Professors Zhaojin Zeng, Alice Xiang, and Jaehee Choi.