Microsoft's Beijing labs recenlty awared a patent "for image-based face search." As shown in the diagram, the proposed system would allow people to submit photos and search for potential dates based on the physical attributes they find most appealing, using facial recognition technologies. Of course, one natural tendency would be to search for celebrity lookalikes to date.
The text explains that "physical appearance is generally considered one of the most important search criteria among users of online dating services."
Yes, it might just be one of the most superficial "innovations" in history.
As with most of these things, there's no indication that Microsoft actually plans to bring the concept to market. The patent app was originally filed several years ago. Below is a patent diagrams, to envision how the system might work:
[tags]beijing,face search,diagram,photos,facial recognition,online dating,dating services,envision[/tags]