Artificial Intelligence is fuelling disruptive innovation in the personal care industry

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Artificial Intelligence is fuelling disruptive innovation in the personal care industry
In what’s being billed as the ‘first beauty contest judged by robots’ Beauty.AI and its partners are crowdsourcing facial imaging data that will be used to set a new course for anti-aging and skin care.

Youth Laboratories is behind the Beauty.AI site and is currently soliciting funding for a related app—RYNKL—on Kickstarter.  According to the company’s bio on that site, “[Youth Laboratories’] goal is to become the largest facial skin analytics company providing multiple Apps for high-demand applications.”

Selfies for science

In the same way that consumer genetics companies in and beyond the beauty industry gather data for use in product development and research, the Beauty.AI app is capturing visual and anecdotal data on skin from millions of users globally.

“Youth Laboratories developed a platform for testing various algorithms that rate human faces using many parameters,” ​explains a recent press release from a project partner. “This platform available through [the] Beauty.AI website allows users to submit their pictures linked to their age and biometric parameter using a standardized Android or iOS app and have it analyzed by multiple robots developed by teams from all over the world.”

Tech mates

Partners and supporters of the project include Microsoft, Cyber Future, Model Alliance, Nvidia, and Future Technologies.

The bioinformatics company Insilico Medicine is involved too: “Insilico Medicine is one of the leaders in applying deep learning and other machine learning algorithms to biological data and we are happy to test some of their algorithms on our Beauty.AI platform,” ​says Alex Shevtsov, CEO of Youth Laboratories, in a press release.

There’s still time for interested data scientists to get involved with the project too, by applying to be part of the Robot Jury before 20 January (more info here​).

Bigger picture

Big data and bioinformatics gathered now in service of the cosmetics and personal care industries will have a ripple effect across health, wellness, and beauty fields.

In the short term, for instance, the RYNKL app will let users not only measure their own signs of aging against their peers but also monitor the effects of specific skin care products over time using benchmarks generated using all that facial analysis data.

And, Insilico presently provides “a broad range of bioinformatics services to pharmaceutical, cosmetics, supplement and nutrition companies and academic institutions.” ​ According to a video presentation the company posted on YouTube, the firm’s goal “is to extend healthy longevity.” ​That means the company wants to change the rate at which people age as well as change how aging looks and feels.

Through research and platform creation Insilico is striving to “minimize animal testing and human clinical testing and [instead] run a whole body of personalized simulations in a high-performance computer system,” ​say the video voiceover.

The research community is going at age-related appearance and health issues from multiple angles. Scientists investigating the drug Metformin have the same sort of goals, to slow or stop age-related physiological changes and diseases, as Cosmetics Design reports​.

When these initiatives have run their course, anti-aging will be a very different industry from the one consumers turn to now. 

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