The following is an article from the Annals of Improbable Research.
Research about, or said to be about, evolution
compiled by Katherine Lee, Improbable Research staff
Human Face Recognition of Machines (Autos)
Detail from the study “‘Cars Have Their Own Faces’: Cross-Cultural Ratings of Car Shapes in Biological (Stereotypical) Terms.”
“‘Cars Have Their Own Faces’: Cross-Cultural Ratings of Car Shapes in Biological (Stereotypical) Terms,” Sonja Windhager, Fred L. Bookstein, Karl Grammera, Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Hasen Said, Dennis E. Slice, Truls Thorstensen, Katrin Schaefer, Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 33 , 2012, pp. 109–120. (Thanks to Ig Nobel Prize winners Richard Wassersug and Chitteranjan Andrade for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at University of Vienna, Austria, bEFS Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Vienna, Austria, University of Washington, USA, University of Addis Ababa, Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Ethiopia, and Florida State University, USA, explain:
It was recently shown that Austrians associate car front geometry with traits in a way that could be related to face shape geometry mapping to those same overall suites of traits.... Adult subjects in two countries (Austria and Ethiopia, n=129) were asked to rate person characteristics of 46 standardized front views of automobiles on various trait scales…. Car shapes for perceived maturity, maleness and dominance were highly similar in both countries, with patterns comparable to shape changes during facial growth in humans: Relative sizes of the forehead and windshield decrease with age/growth, eyes and headlights both become more slit-like, noses and grilles bigger, lips and air-intakes are wider. Austrian participants further attributed various degrees of some interpersonal attitudes and emotions, whereas neither Austrians nor Ethiopians congruently ascribed personalities.
The Descent of Cookbooks
“The Nonequilibrium Nature of Culinary Evolution,” Osame Kinouchi, Rosa W. Diez-Garcia, Adriano J. Holanda, Pedro Zambianchi and Antonio C. Roque, February 2008. (Thanks to Claudio Angelo for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil and other institutions, report: