Find Your Twin

I have a friend named Russ. Last year when I was still in school I had a class with a guy that looked like Russ’ evil twin. If you saw the two of them next to each other I’m sure you would think that this was Russ’ brother who happened to get every feature just a couple steps in the wrong direction: Russ’ nose + 1, Russ’ eye spacing -2, Russ’ neck +3. Yeah, he was kinda ugly. On a side note, imagine trying to explain to your best friend that there’s a guy that looks just like him and that guy is kinda ugly. It’s pretty hard to argue with the theory of transitivity: if Russ(a) looks like(=) guy(b) and guy(b) is(=) ugly(c) then Russ(a) is ugly(c). Russ is good looking, but you can see how he may have thought I was calling him ugly.

Anyway, this whole situation got me wishing I could meet my evil twin. I spent some time thinking about how with today’s technology this might be possible. The basic idea is that you would upload your photo into a database that would then compare it against all of the other photos based on certain criteria, returning the closest matches. At first, and probably for a long time your chances of finding a close match would be slim, but the more participants the greater your chances.

We already have community photo galleries like Flickr, so it’s definitely feasible that a large number of people could upload their pictures to a central location. As far as comparing them, I see two options:

1. Rely on human judgement – let people enter in things like hair color, face shape, nose size and other things like that.
2. Rely on computer judgement – pixel to pixel comparison (probably too many factors) or some sort of feature tracing program that then compares the vectors created.

Their are big problems with each option. Obviously 1 is easier to implement as the pictures can be from different angles and distances, but people are definitely not objective. 2 would have no biases, but would require similarly taken photos which is hard considering each individual would probably be taking their own photo. If you could implement 2, I think the results would be much more accurate, it’s just that it’s asking a lot of the participant.


  1. You may be able to find your twin at a website I found

    - biglass (Nov 13, 2005)

  2. Ben sent this link to me, I think this is better than what I imagined in my idea:

    - rett (Feb 8, 2006)

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