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June 12, 2017

Clarifai Featured Hack: Discover Ancestry Based on Facial Recognition

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Discover your Ancestry with Facial Recognition

MiMi is an app that uses machine learning to determine your ancestry by what continent you might have originated from based on your facial characteristics. The results might surprise you!

Do you have one of those ambiguously ethnic faces where everyone always asks, “Where are you from?” Well, if you’re not bothered by real humans guessing your origin, now computers can do it, too! MiMi is an app that uses machine learning to determine your ancestry by origin continent.

All you have to do is visit the live demo, allow the app to use your computer cam, and take a picture. Based on the picture, the app will determine the two most likely continents your ancestors came from. Give it a try!




This is an interesting take on facial recognition that we haven’t seen before. Yes, Clarifai has its own Demographics recognition model, but that recognizes your age, gender, and multicultural appearance (otherwise known as ethnicity or race). MiMi is all about understanding your origins and where you came from based on origin location. Read more about the app on Devpost!


We caught up with the diverse MiMi team – Malika from Uzbekistan, Alicia from Cuba, Geeticka from India, and Ashley from Jamaica – to learn what inspired their app and how they built it.

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Clarifai: What inspired your idea for MiMi?

MiMi Team:
We were inspired by the most common question asked in Miami: “Where are you from?” We started with the idea of building a software that can tell you about your ancestry depending on your voice intonation. After further refinement, we settled on using facial recognition due to the availability of Clarifai API in the hackathon. We were also inspired by this video on testing the DNA of diverse people in order to bring them together.

Clarifai: How did you build the app?

MiMi Team:
We created it using Clarifai, HTML, JS, CSS and Adobe Illustrator.

Clairfai: What was the best part about working with the Clarifai API?

Mimi Team:
We were able to reach out to a Clarifai sponsor and were able to find a UI for training our model as opposed to coding it with JS.

Thanks for sharing, MiMi team!

To learn more, check out our documentation and sign-up for a free Clarifai account to start using our API – all it takes is a few lines of code to get up and running! We’re super excited to share all the cool things built by our developer community, so don’t forget to tweet @Clarifai to show us your apps.

And give the MiMi team some props in the comments below. Until next time!

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