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- Picture day was something
that I actually kind of dreaded.
You have your picture taken that's the way
it's gonna be in the yearbook, forever.
Little did I know that I was actually taking
part in this ritual that I would research.
(uplifting music)
- [Announcer] What if you could write a formula
so advanced that you could wade through millions
of yearbook photos to track social trends.
Researchers at UC Berkeley are helping
historians do just that.
- This project is really about history.
We looked for a data set
that would kind of capture changes
in people and we found that
we could use high school yearbooks
because yearbooks have existed in high schools
in America from about 1902
and throughout this entire time the format
has stayed exactly the same.
You go to school and you dress up nice
and you stand in front of the camera
and you have your picture taken.
So there's millions, literally, of photographs
that are basically all the same.
One of the things we were able to create
was an average image or a composite
of what the average teen looked like
in the 20th century.
We could just measure, literally,
the curvature of the smile.
There's basically one big up curve
until the second world war and then there
are a couple of dips but it keeps going up.
And for every decade we found
a bunch of subgroups.
In the 1960s, we found for girls
all these different hairstyles.
There's the flip, that goes like this.
Then there's the beehive
which is this big bubble thing.
And then in the '70s we get the afros
and the bouffants and all kinds
of stuff like that.
The data kind of speaks to us.
And things emerge from the data.
All kinds of pattern or trend without
needing any human annotation.
And this is a really big deal because
mostly big data is just really a bunch of noise.
If we can find ways to automatically tease
these things out, we, as humans
will have much less work in order to be able
to understand what we see.
(enthusiastic music)
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How Your Awkward Teen Years Are Making History

124 Folder Collection
許大善 published on November 11, 2019
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