The brand new Nudemeter is now innovated and arrived in market, a technology that reads your accurate skin shade through a selfie and understands the best suited make up products to shop with irrespective of any skin shade. Atima Lui is the woman who invented this much needed A.I. technology that helps beauty product customers with every skin tone and especially with the dark skin people choosing their products with convenience and accuracy. Atima Lui is of Sudanese and African- American origin and she designed this technology after finding it difficult to find best suited make-up products for herself. Evidently almost every available, accessible and advanced technology has been created for and suited to the needs of the mainstream and the cosmetic industry is no exception to this. She realised how countless darker-skinned women are forced to either guess at the best-suited makeup shades for themselves or to just rely on the assistance of the shop associates at a beauty store. Needless to say, neither option produced the most satisfactory results. How the Nudemeter works is quite interesting. You can simply upload a selfie to Nudemeter and follow the guidelines that leads you to answer a few questions and that is it. You are ready with your A.I. recommendations for the makeup shades that best matches your skin tone.
The idea of making something like Nudemeter emerged in 2016 when Lui was doing her final year in the Harvard Business School.
As she explains,
“I just went back to being a Black woman growing up in Topeka, Kansas, and just not feeling beautiful, not feeling like the standard of intelligence, not feeling good enough,” “beauty is undervalued as a source of power in the world.”
But the attempt to make something like this was not so easy as the whole face recognition technology was so much influenced by the white and light skin bias. A 2018 MIT study, led by Algorithmic Justice League Founder Joy Buolamwini discovered that commercial artificial intelligence systems had error rates as high as 35 per cent when identifying the features of darker-skinned women, compared to less than one per cent for lighter-skinned men – a discrepancy attributed to datasets
“overwhelmingly composed of lighter-skinned subjects.”
(Alleyne,2020). To have this problem solved Lui collected data set of various skin tones to have vast diversity of skin shades and reached out to the color specialists Michael Brown and Mahmoud Afifi at York University in Toronto for further work on it.
In 2018, beauty behemoth Coty, whose brands include Rimmel, Max Factor and Kylie Cosmetics, awarded Nudemeter the grand prize for their Digital Accelerator Start-Up Program, and assisted Lui refine and stress test her algorithm. Last year, Spktrm Beauty, an independent brand targeting the shoppers with darker skin tones, became the first to utilize Nudemeter on its website, and in May, hosiery company Nude Barre introduced the application to help shoppers. (ibid,2020).
Two companies have come forward together to support the efforts of Lui. The company named AlgoFace inclusivity and bias control are their new visions now and they claim that the Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and Augmented Reality (A.R.) in helps not in face recognition but a face detecting. The technology helps in tracking facial movements, attributing shade accuracy and the make up try on solution allows the user to try on beauty products like Foundation, eye liners or lipsticks with A.R. The best thing about the application is it keeps your data and photo private and the company has taken care of this most important aspect.
The AlgoFace team has individuals from nine countries, 63% of it being women in it. As Lui says: “The industry wants shade matching technology for the skin, but the industry also wants the ability to understand what the product would look like on their face. So, we’re really excited about this unique combination of inclusion and diversity in skin tone matching and color matching as well as virtual try on.”