The program was created by a team led by associate professor Alexei Efros. The team members were inspired by the work of artists such as James Salavon, who have created images made from hundreds of overlaid photos of subjects such as kids posing with Santa. Whereas Salavon and company manually selected, combined and aligned their images, however, AverageExplorer does so automatically.
Users can refine their search criteria either by using more specific terms, or just by selecting a specific region of the average image ? an example could involve selecting the nose on the average cat image, resulting in a new average image that's weighted more toward matching up noses.