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Australia Science Technology

Avatars Used For Australian Online Sex Appeal Study 175

Posted by timothy
from the now-that's-a-research-job dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australian scientists are seeking volunteers online to help them better understand sexual attraction. At a specially created website — www.bodylab.biz — users can go online and make their own ratings of computer-generated avatar images of men and women of greatly varying shapes, sizes, and proportions. The bodyLab team will analyse and compile the results and each month will cull about half of the images — those that are least popular — and virtually 'breed' new body shapes from parent avatars with features rated as most attractive by people taking part in the experiment. Over time, the scientists hope thousands of users will help them work through six or more generations of avatars to narrow down the special combinations of features that make up the 'ideal' body — although they're keeping an open mind about whether several combinations will emerge."
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Avatars Used For Australian Online Sex Appeal Study

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  • by senorbum (1795816) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:15AM (#32217656)
    Its honestly quite difficult to tell which grey cartoon body model is more attractive. I tried doing it, but I really just felt like I was making the ratings up...There are a few that looked like ogres that I could tell weren't attractive to me, but honestly that was about it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      They were all unattractive to me. Maybe they're starting from the bottom and working their way up but it seems to me that would indicate they didn't randomly choose the initial parameters of the models, so what would the point be?

      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:37AM (#32217728)

        so what would the point be?

        Yeah, I did it too, what a horrible bunch of models. It seems as if the whole thing only has one sliding scale for inflating the model.

        Also, the site just timed out three times when I tried to get their "overall progress" stats due to a sql timeout error. Stay classy bodylab.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I just felt mean at the end of that.

          The men were terrifyingly triangular with shoulders that couldn't fit through doorways, or emancipated starving old men, or jello-molds of boomer-villains. The women were even worse -- board-straight, afterthoughts for boobs, not a curve to be found anywhere. 100 ratings of models for each sex, and not a single creature rated above 1.

          I enjoy being as catty as the next woman -- I spent my afternoon drinking coffee and taunting the terrible, terrible fashion choices of this

          • Board straight models? All the ones I saw were at least a little fat. Some of them actually looked like contenders for sumo wrestling or "world's strongest man" (and these were the females). Highest I got was a 2, and I have a feeling that if I'd got her first I probably would have rated her as a 0 or 1, but looking at all the heifers slightly altered my perceptions temporarily. *shudder*

        • Nah, there were some thin curvy ones and there were some thin curve-less ones, and there were some thin curve-less with big breasts and some thin curve-less with small breasts and some with long torsos and some with shorter torsos and some with long legs and some with shorter legs and curvy with big breasts and... not that I spent much time on it...
        • by Takichi (1053302)
          The scaling wasn't done very well either. I rated some models less attractive because there were some strange polygons sticking out where they shouldn't have, like around the shoulder area.
          • It's not JUST the scaling. Every model has utterly broken proportions, a posture that just isn't human, and out of the whole thing I'm not even sure the hands, feet, or breasts ever changed size.

        • by ignavus (213578)

          Also, the site just timed out three times when I tried to get their "overall progress" stats due to a sql timeout error. Stay classy bodylab.

          They were using a Microsoft product.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Yeah, I did it too, what a horrible bunch of models. It seems as if the whole thing only has one sliding scale for inflating the model.

          They are certainly nowhere near the scale of human variation. notably, ZERO of the models have really big tits. Several had 'em pretty small, but nobody whatsoever had pendulous boobs. I suspect that their model-generation system is too primitive to actually produce people who look like a variety of people, and that they're using a simple metaball (or metaball-like) model to produce them. Unfortunately, skin tightness is orthogonal to fatness. Or in shorter terms, when it comes to generating the models, the

      • by j-stroy (640921)
        I threw up in my mouth a little. No one will breed with them. Not even in the back seat of that vw bug.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tomhudson (43916)
        Vote for the ugliest, most unattractive, most disgusting. Lets see them analyze THAT!

        It's easy. If it's too fat or too skinny, click on the +2. If it's decent, click on the -2. throw in some -3 and +1/-1 at random. If it looks like the prototypical slashdotter or Steve Balmer, click on +3.

    • by linzeal (197905) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:38AM (#32217736) Homepage Journal
      I think what is happening is that the grey aliens are getting older, fatter and more lonely since being captured at Area 51 and exposed to a high fat and sedentary American superspy lifestyle. With this study they hope to find the ip addresses of those attracted to grey blobs and abduct you later tonight for a little probing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Its honestly quite difficult to tell which grey cartoon body model is more attractive. I tried doing it, but I really just felt like I was making the ratings up...There are a few that looked like ogres that I could tell weren't attractive to me, but honestly that was about it.

      I think you may have proved the point of the study. It is a study of body type perception. Many DID look similar, but I tried my best to be honest and rate it according my preference. Whether that is a general perception, the study will no doubt determine over time.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        I think what the GP meant is the same what I experienced. For me (rating female models) there was none that had any significant attractiveness. There were a bunch that were clearly unattractive and got a negative rating depending on unattractiveness. All the rest got a 0 for averageness.

      • by jesset77 (759149)

        Encoded Message Follows: 000 0100 01 000 0000 100 111 1 010 001 0100 0 000

        I'm sorry, but all I get from that mess is HTEHPLOCJITBH. :3

    • by feepness (543479)
      Not to mention they all had sharp knees.
      • by jc42 (318812)

        [T]hey all had sharp knees.

        Hey, that's a fetish I've never even heard of! (So I learned something from slashdot today. ;-)

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      help them work through six or more generations of avatars to narrow down the special combinations of features that make up the 'ideal' body

      This will help them in determining which things need to be censored. Not sure if it'll be the things that turn the most people on, or the things that turn the minority on... Stay tuned

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        There seems to be a real bias for elongated pelvic area and feet roughly half the size of the ankle. I guess I don't mind them sensoring either of those.

    • by sick_soul (794596)

      I never rated > 0;
      I got either the ogres, or some sort of male or genderless body with tits.

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      Well shit why don't you submit some hentai at least they'll have BOOBs, even on the ogres.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      The results of this experiment will be a perfectly statistical model of the ideal female for 20-30 year old guys living in their parents' basement who could only dream of even the ugliest of those bodies.

      • by oji-sama (1151023)

        The results of this experiment will be a perfectly statistical model of the ideal female for 20-30 year old guys living in their parents' basement who could only dream of even the ugliest of those bodies.

        I thought those pictures were taken of them. Perhaps at an airport.

    • True, impossible to judge.. I realized that after I'd rated 5 and they were all -3 And what the hell is with their pubic areas? They were like flat triangles. Black silhouettes would have been much more affective.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Rating females, the only real differences I could spot was the proportion between waist and hip and the overall chubiness in each model. I couldn't spot any breast size differences, nor any other detail that could led me to prefer this or that model.

      I could rate them in a logical way, but based only in these two characteristics. But, in the real world, I can say that sometimes I see women that would be rated +3 if they were just a grey body in my screen, but due to her face, lack of charm, etc, In fact don'

    • by Chapter80 (926879)

      This is an example of genetic algorithms being misapplied.

      If they wanted to do it right, they'd be asking the male avitars to rate the female avitars. After all, that's whose "genes" are combining. Perhaps ugly people are attracted to other ugly people!

      So either have the male avitars rate the female avitars (and vice versa), or require the users of the site to mate with the avitars...

  • sample (Score:1, Troll)

    by Itninja (937614)

    ...users can go online and make their own ratings of computer-generated avatar images of men and women

    So start with adult population of Australia
    Then, Subtract adults who have jobs, families, hobbies, and no time for silly things like this
    From that, subtract the single college student who has any wisp of maturity or enlightement
    From that, subtract old-timers with no interest in the Interwebz
    So who's left? Alcoholics, the unemployable, angry loners...?

    • Don't be so dismissive. With the firewall that the government is trying to force on us, this will be the closest thing that Aussies will get to see porn. And speaking of being political, did anyone notice that one of the grey, bland, featureless male models was actually a picture of our Prime Minister? I wonder how many people will spot that.

  • Clearly, they meant to use the boobylab.biz domain but misspelt it.
  • Yeah...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kainosnous (1753770)

      And so now there are a ton of nerds going off to see if they can remember what a real woman looks like. I think we may have just spoiled their test. After a few days the results will show that the ideal woman is a Japanese cat-like alien creature with a built in modem and touchscreen. I guess the next questions would be "Does she run Linux?"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:52AM (#32217786)

    I tried rating 4 different sets of models and I just couldn't find any that I could honestly rate above a 0. No matter what sized model I was shown, it seemed like there was something decidedly strange, disproportionate unattractive about their characteristics.

    Then it hit me: It's the posture. The "blender pose" is just not a way that real humans go around holding their body. It seems fake, shows off all the wrong parts of the body, and exaggerates features of the model that would appear normally proportioned in a regular standing pose.

    Given that (imo) gaping flaw in the dataset, I predict this will turn out to be another junk project that spawns CNN headlines like "Scientists find the perfect bodytype, and it's not what you expect!".

    • I think there was some really odd proportioning going on as well. I didn't do any measuring, but it seems to me that the relative height of the pelvis in proportion to other bones is exaggerated, and the angles of some of the joints are wrong/uncommon for joints that don't actually move on the axis in question, making them all seem basically like they were suffering from various kinds of genetic abnormalities or aberrations. I don't know if this is the ultimate political intent (people think that disabled p

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It's because they're stretched proportionally instead of proportionately, and because they're made out of metaballs with the skin stretched over it to one tension. Or at least, that's what they look like. So everything about them is unnatural. Skin doesn't have one tightness over the whole body, and in any case, everyone's skin is different, but all of these models' skin is the same. So it's not that they're weird avatars, it's that they an incompetent representation of a whole range of human bodies. The mo

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      I couldn't pick out any attractive ones because their faces were all pixelated!

      Actually, if you looked at more than 4, you might have noticed that they were changing different ratios in the body shapes. Size was just one factor. They ask for 30 but let you continue on, I did over 100 until their site choked (as others have mentioned).

      The size of pelvis changed, both width and height (from crotch to waist). Obviously waist changed (3-dimensionally, IE they had different amounts of belly fat compared to wh

  • by LoverOfJoy (820058) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:53AM (#32217788) Homepage
    Okay ladies, whose more attractive? Fudd or Sam? What would their kids look like? A cartoon Hot or Not. Is this for some masters student's thesis?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wvmarle (1070040)

      Well coming to think of it, they may get better results by showing two models each time, and then to ask you to choose which one is the more attractive of the two.

  • ...and my score was roughly 0.95. My highest rated model (which I gave a 3), had an average score of 1.36. Eye of the beholder, I suppose... The only models I really scored 0 were models that lacked any hip definition. Basically, models that looked like dudes with tits. A sight that is all too common here in America. Get a treadmill, America.

  • The feet were the same size (pretty small), which made some of the larger women look very disproportionate and therefore less attractive. And WTF was up with that subliminal car drawing in the background??
  • Dang... (Score:4, Funny)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @02:08AM (#32217834)
    Where did they get those pics of me???
  • Misleading (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @02:16AM (#32217862)

    The test really was seeing how attractive fat women are to most people. None of the figures were what I'd consider thin and only one wasn't obviously fat. They were various shapes of fat but still fat. There are lots of body types that aren't fat. They'd save 10 minutes of the testers time to first find out do you find fat women attractive. If yes proceed otherwise you are now finished with the test.

    • by jakobX (132504)

      Yeah..this was a weird test. My highest rating was a minus 2.

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      You might not have done enough, there were ugly thin ones as well as attractive skinny ones, flat chested boy shaped thin ones and curvaceous, too short, too tall, just right, etc. There were all those varieties in not too skinny/not too overweight as well as the fat ones.

      The amount of variety bordered on the amount of variety in actual women. (I only saw 100+ silhouettes, far fewer than RL women various body shapes I've seen.)

    • If you think they all were fat, then you obviously never saw an actual woman naked, and only know those anorexic models. (And no, I’m not one of those who thinks that actually fat people are not fat.)

  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @02:22AM (#32217890) Homepage

    A normal guy wouldn't rate a woman 0-10 in his head, but rather a "yes" or a "no",
    Also. this "experiment" while interesting doesn't count for men getting horny, looking at pictures of naked women makes us horny, after a while our "reptilian brain" takes over and almost everything looks attractive.

    It would be interesting to measure that in the data ... How after 5-8 clicks, every fat blob gets increased sex appeal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since when is there a no?

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      A normal guy wouldn't rate a woman 0-10 in his head, but rather a "yes" or a "no",

      I don't know about that, fuzzy logic [wikipedia.org] is a pretty good approximation of we consider seemingly boolean conditions like hot/cold or attractive/unattractive.

    • >"looking at pictures of naked women makes us horny, after a while our "reptilian brain" takes over and almost everything looks attractive"

      Er.... No.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It would be interesting to measure that in the data ... How after 5-8 clicks, every fat blob gets increased sex appeal.

      That's a dumb idea, and here's why: Seeing a hot chick after a fat chick makes you rank her higher, but seeing a fat chick after a hot chick makes you rank her lower. Or at least, I found it did me, and I had to look at the figures most objectively.

      Their correlation system is stupid, BTW: you don't get a correlation from choosing models with the same features as models the others have chosen, only from ranking the same models. So while my highest- and lowest-ranked models looked just like the highest- and l

    • A normal guy wouldn't rate a woman 0-10 in his head, but rather a "yes" or a "no",

      You apparently have no idea what an average guy thinks. And you also aren’t one.

      I can not explain how you never heard a guy say “she’s a 10” or something like that. You must have never gone out with friends. Ever. Even if they don”t use numbers: Sure there always are gradients.

      Or do you live in a black/white world with no gray area?
      Oh wait, you live in bitspace, and now think in the real world there also only are 0 and 1.

  • under the weight of rendering all those fat chicks.
  • by DeadboltX (751907) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:11AM (#32218038)
    You should be shown 2 or more models at a time and be asked to choose the best looking one. Rating each one individually on a scale is worthless.
    • They choose who will survive every month, which seems a bit pointless. You can easily weed out a rhino without needing a million people to tell you she's ugly. Having every individual user converge on what he finds attractive would be a far faster way of getting results and would also preserve individual tastes better.

      I'd suggest generations of 10-20 individuals and picking one of two choices to be in the next generation. It would converge very fast, I'd assume halving the parameter space every five clicks
  • Behind each of the models, there is a faint picture of a Volkswagen Beetle. At first I thought of some form of subliminal advertising, but they must have needed some way to show relative height. And a Beetle is of course fairly universal.
  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:29AM (#32218084)

    Bah. You all got it wrong.

    If you look closely, you can see a watermark-like image of a Volkswagen Beetle behind the models.

    This made things much easier. I simply imagined trying some heavy-petting in the back seat with each model. That instantly ruled out the models with gigantism, the Ogres and left exactly one model with a snowballs chance in hell...and she still got a -1.

    In all seriousness, the second time I tried it I got different results. I actually rated one of the models a +1 on the second time. Probably because she didn't look like she was on a diet of pure corn-syrup and might actually fit in the car.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You all know what will happen.
    Some Anonymous Coward will post this to 4chan.

    And then the hambeast will be chosen as the most beautiful body type.

  • Hey, I saw it in theaters and thought it was okay, but you won't see me getting aroused [wordpress.com] or suicidal [cnn.com] over it...

  • They want you to pick a single country that defines where your ancestors are primarily from.

    Good luck with that one.

    At least on a paper survey when they say "Pick one" I can ignore them and pick 2 then it's their problem, but with this stupid web widget I have to pick just one.

    If the president can't accurately pick one how can I? :)

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @07:05AM (#32218764) Homepage Journal

    God, only one time there was a 0 rating from me, everything else was -3, -2 and -1 and honestly, I did not like a single one of them, how do they come up with these models, did they take the LOTR Orcs or something?

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      I thought about it and remembered what the models looked like: Cave Trolls with saggy boobs.

      That's it.

  • Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.
    Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

    Exception Details: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

    Source Error:

    Line 51:
    Line 52: Public Function GetAverageRatings_Top1(ByVal intSetID As Integer) As DataSet
    Line 53: objDS = objDBStats.GetAverageRatings_Top1(intSetID)
    Line 54: Return objDS
    Line 55: End Function

    Source File: C:\HostingSpaces\bodylabb\bodylab.biz\bodyLab\App_Code\Business\Stats.vb Line: 53

    Stack Trace:

    [SqlException (0x80131904): Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.]
    Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.Container.InvokeMethod(Method TargetProcedure, Object[] Arguments, Boolean[] CopyBack, BindingFlags Flags) +202
    Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.NewLateBinding.LateGet(Object Instance, Type Type, String MemberName, Object[] Arguments, String[] ArgumentNames, Type[] TypeArguments, Boolean[] CopyBack) +275
    HAP.Stats.GetAverageRatings_Top1(Int32 intSetID) in C:\HostingSpaces\bodylabb\bodylab.biz\bodyLab\App_Code\Business\Stats.vb:53
    Stats.GetAverageRatings_Top1() in C:\HostingSpaces\bodylabb\bodylab.biz\bodyLab\stats\Stats.vb:85
    Stats.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) in C:\HostingSpaces\bodylabb\bodylab.biz\bodyLab\stats\Stats.vb:60
    System.Web.UI.Control.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +99
    System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +50
    System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +627

    - I would rate that there was no button to be clicked.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @07:50AM (#32218954) Journal

    The final figure will be of a women of normal enough proportions not to give serious artifacts in the base model being stretched but as slim as possible.

    That is the problem with trying to use base model for all body types you want to create. You can't because the curves don't curve. It is why TES (Fallout 3) has whole body replacers and 3d renders have a lot of different body types made by third parties. Because you can't just take a full figured body and turn it into a slim one with things looking odd.

    It is also known that standing straight up like this is both unnatural and unattractive. There is a reason Playboy never uses a pose like this and only the most hardup jack-off to medical/photograph reference books.

    The ideal "western" body type is already well known. Bar the fatty lovers, on the whole men tend to prefer women that do not get harpooned when they go swimming in the sea. What a suprise.

    this experiment would be a whole lot more intresting if they had generated better bodies, not just stretch one base model into freaks (some of the builds are impossible, I seen several females with a inward crotch where as even slender women tend to curve out there).

    You would get a better result with displaying all the playmaters from Playboy, then you could get a real feeling for how tastes changed. But that study already has been done by the editors, you can see the body shape changing over the years. Tit size has also gone down. When they could show more of the rest, the size of the tits got less important and since big tits are basically fat, this means the body weight could go down as well.

    Don't they have Playboy in Australia? Would explain a lot.

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      Your comment reminds me of a headline some years ago ina womens magazine that proclaimed "breasts are in this season" (or maybe out), implying that the size of your breasts was an optional, cosmetic choice.

      According to your comment "Tit size has also gone down." referring to playmates. Funny that in the real world women have on average gone up in cup size as a result to the changes in diet in the western world.

      Also, as an gamer who spends a lot of time with guys (both online and offline), I can tell you tha

  • Why not just go to hotornot.com if you'd like to see what millions of people consider a 10?

  • by gillbates (106458) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @10:23AM (#32219808) Homepage Journal

    I guess that beauty isn't really in the eye of the beholder anymore. I'm reticent to rate anyone in this study because I don't see anything good coming of it.

    In the first place, science has no place rating attractiveness. Beauty is *supposed* to be subjective, not objective. Imagine, for a moment if how someone might feel if their body shape had been *scientifically proven* unattractive. Nothing good can come of this.

    Speaking of nothing good, we've seen how women are especially sensitive to body image. Normally, it's been an anecdotal thing, but this could be a cosmetic marketer's wet dream come true. The entire cosmetics industry - including cosmetic surgery - relies heavily on women being unable to see themselves as naturally beautiful; if there was some ostensibly *objective* way of showing a woman to be, shall we say, less-than-optimally-attractive, there would of course arise a large demand for whatever product or service "corrected" the problem. Instead of seeing the natural variety in body shape, they'd all appear about the same. Which would frustrate the many men and women who find society's idea of an attractive body, well, rather plain and uninteresting.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilviper (135110)

      I guess that beauty isn't really in the eye of the beholder anymore.

      It never was. You're buying into a myth, and claiming we shouldn't do anything to up-end that same myth.

      Scientists have known for many years that beauty is directly related to body proportions, and symmetry. While we get examples of overweight people, or those with massive rings in their lips being attractive, that is really an example of wealth being attractive, and unrelated to beauty.

      Imagine, for a moment if how someone might feel if t

    • In the first place, science has no place rating attractiveness. Beauty is *supposed* to be subjective, not objective. Imagine, for a moment if how someone might feel if their body shape had been *scientifically proven* unattractive. Nothing good can come of this.

      What kind of talk is this? Says who? You sound like a religious zealot trying to make excuses for why some thing “should be left unexplained” like “the magic of love”.
      Bullshit. There is no magic. There is no “has no place in”. there in no “supposed”. (And even if, you would’nt know it anyway).
      And it’s also not about objectivity vs. subjectivity. You just made that up. There is so such thing as objectivity in reality.

      And most importantly, it is comp

  • quite a selection: from flacid to morbidly obese. don't bother if you like ballerinas.
  • Please tell me that I am not the only person to read this as:
    (Avatars Used For Australian Online Sex) (Appeal Study)
    instead of:
    (Avatars Used) For (Australian Online Sex Appeal Study)

    I was wondering why and how an avatar could appear an online sex study.

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