This conspiracy theory suggests the 10-year challenge could actually be a bit sinister 1 year ago

This conspiracy theory suggests the 10-year challenge could actually be a bit sinister

It's definitely a plausible idea.

The 10-year challenge has become ubiquitous since the start of 2019. Open any social media application and you'll likely be inundated with pictures of your friends, celebrities or even complete strangers with side by side photos of how they used to look versus how they look now.

To some, it's a bit of a laugh to observe the "glow up" and to others, it's a bit narcissistic but did you ever consider that it could potentially be sinister?

Fan of a good conspiracy theory? Well, listen up to this really intriguing argument that might have you thinking twice about participating in the 10-year challenge!


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Tech writer and Fortune 500 advisor, Kate O'Neill uploaded what she called a "semi-sarcastic" tweet that began to gain serious traction. She said:

"Me 10 years ago: probably would have played along with the profile picture aging meme going around on Facebook and Instagram.

Me now: ponders how all this data could be mined to train facial recognition algorithms on age progression and age recognition."

In an article on Wired Kate further delved into this theory, which suggests that the data collected during the 10-year challenge could be used to train Artificial Intelligence:

"Imagine that you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on age-related characteristics and, more specifically, on age progression (e.g., how people are likely to look as they get older).

Ideally, you'd want a broad and rigorous dataset with lots of people's pictures. It would help if you knew they were taken a fixed number of years apart—say, 10 years."

People were quick to point out that Facebook already has this data, through people's profile pictures, but Kate argues that having a bank of data with images side by side could indeed be highly useful and perhaps this is why the challenge was invented.

The theory has gotten so much attention that Facebook was forced to respond:

"The 10-year challenge is a user-generated meme that started on its own, without our involvement. It’s evidence of the fun people have on Facebook, and that’s it."