Facial recognition is a flourishing field of technology that is both exciting and problematic. If you have ever unlocked yourjust by looking at it, or have you asked or to review an unclassified album and show you the photos of your children, then you have seen facial recognition in action.
Whether you like it or not, facial recognition (sometimes also called "face or face recognition") is ready to play an increasingly important role in your life. They can scan your face at airports or concerts, with or without your knowledge. You can start receiving personalized ads thanks to the cameras of the shopping centers. Facial recognition has a lot of potential. This technology could help the devices toThey will get smarter, send you notifications based on who they are watching and give you more convenient access to friends and family.
But even in the best case, facial recognition raises questions about questions of. Experts have a range of concerns ranging from abuses in law enforcement, to systems with hidden racial prejudices, or that hackers can access your secure information.
But what is facial recognition, how does it work and where is it currently in use?, And what are the implications of this rapid expansion technology sector?
What is facial recognition?
Facial recognition is a form of biometric authentication that uses body measurements to verify your identity. Facial recognition is a subset of biometric data that identifies people by measuring the unique shape and structure of their faces. Different existing systems use different techniques, but fundamentally, facial recognition uses the same principles as other biometric authentication techniques, such as fingerprint scanners and voice recognition.
How does facial recognition work?
All facial recognition systems capture a two-dimensional or three-dimensional image of a person's face, and then compare the key information of that image with a database of known images. In the case of police forces, that database can be collected from police identification photographs. In the case of smart home cameras, the data is likely to come from images of people you have identified as family or friends through the camera application.
Woodrow "Woody" Bledsoe was the first to develop a software of facial recognition, for a company called Panoramic Research in the 1960s, using two-dimensional images, and with funds for research from an intimate intelligence agency.
Even now, most facial recognition systems rely on 2D images, either because the camera does not have the ability to capture depth information such as the length of your nose or the depth of your eye socket, or because the basis of Reference data consists of 2D images, such as police or passport photos.
2D facial recognition mainly uses reference points such as the nose, mouth and eyes to identify a face, and measures both the width and shape of the features, and the distance between them on the face. These measurements are then converted into a numerical code by means of a software of facial recognition, which is used to find matches. This code is known as "facial footprint" (faceprint).
This geometric system can present problems due to variations in the angle and illumination. For example, the image of a face captured from the front show a different distance between the nose and the eyes than that of a face turned to the side. This problem can be partially mitigated by moving the 2D image to a 3D model and undoing the rotation.
Adding a third dimension
He software 3D facial recognition is not easily fooled by angles and light, and is not based on the average size of a head to identify a facial footprint. With cameras that detect depth, the facial footprint can include the contours and the curve of the face, as well as the depth of the eyes and the distances from reference points such as the tip of your nose.
Most cameras measure this depth by projecting invisible spectra of light on your face and using sensors that capture the distance of several points of this light in relation to the camera. Although these 3D sensors can capture much more detail than 2D, the basis of the technology remains the same: convert the various shapes, distances and depths of a face into a numerical code and match that code with a database.
If that database is made up of 2D images, the software You must first convert the 3D facial fingerprint to a 2D to find a match.
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The systemUse 30,000 infrared dots that map the contours of your face. Then, the iPhone remembers the relative location of those points the next time you try to unlock your phone.
But even these more advanced systems can be defeated by something as simple as different facial expressions, or wear glasses or scarves that cover parts of your face. The systemto find the correspondence between the tired face and with narrowed eyes that you have when you wake up and your face once groomed, after a good dose of coffee and ready to face the day.
Reading your pores
A more recent technological development, called skin texture analysis, may help future applications overcome all these challenges. Created by Identix, a technology company aimed at developing secure identification means, the analysis of skin texture differs from others because it works on a much smaller scale. Instead of measuring the distance between your nose and your eyes, measure the distance between your pores. Then convert those numbers into a mathematical code. This code is known as "skin footprint".
In theory, this method could be so precise that it would allow to distinguish between twins. Currently, Identix is working to integrate it into facial recognition systems along with a more standard 3D facial map. The company claims that its technology can increase the accuracy of recognition by 25 percent.
Where is facial recognition used?
While Bledsoe laid the foundations of technology, modern facial recognition began formally in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to MIT mathematicians. Since then, facial recognition has been integrated into all types of commercial and institutional applications, with varying degrees of success.
The Chinese government uses facial recognition for large-scale surveillance in public CCTV cameras, both to capture criminals and to monitor the behavior of all its citizens in order to convert data into scores. Thus, seemingly harmless faults, such as buying too many video games or recklessly crossing the street, may reduce your score. China uses this score in a kind of "social credit" system that determines whether a person should be allowed to obtain a loan, buy a house or even much simpler things like boarding a plane or accessing the Internet.
The London Metropolitan Police also uses it as a tool to refine its search for criminals, although its system is not supposed to be very accurate. Incorrect coincidences have been reported in 98 percent of cases. In the United States, the police departments of Oregn and Florida have joined Amazon to install facial recognition technology in government-owned chambers.
Facial recognition, to help people get through security checks faster. The Secret Service is testing facial recognition systems in the White House. in one of his concerts. Facial recognition led to the arrest of the person responsible for the shooting of Capital Gazette in 2018 by matching an image of the suspect with a repository of images of police photographs and driver's licenses. The to help improve security.
In addition to serving for criminal surveillance, facial recognition can also have great implications for retailers and health professionals. marketing. In, the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble showed a conceptual store in which the cameras can recognize your face and make personalized purchase recommendations.
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Facial recognition at home
In addition to large-scale facilities, facial recognition has various uses in consumer products. Apart from iPhones, some phones with Google's Android operating system, such as theand the , they can do facial recognition, but Android technology is still not secure enough to authorize cell phone payments. The next version of Android is expected , closer to Apple's Face ID, although Samsung did not incorporate any facial recognition feature in its newest phone, the , as many industry observers expected.
Facebook has been using facial recognition for years to suggest tags for photos. Other photo applications, such as Google Photos, are improving in this field.
In smart homes, after starting as a niche function in connected cameras like the, facial recognition is now integrated into several popular models, including the . We saw a lot of new devices that had this technology on display at CES 2019.
Connected cameras compare faces with others they have seen before and allow you to customize notifications according to who is in front of the camera. It takes a little time for all the models we have tried to memorize the faces, since they need to be able to recognize the members of the household from various angles and with different costumes. But once the cameras learn, they can use facial recognition to make your connected security system much smarter by making their notifications more relevant to what you really want to know.
In addition to home security uses, including robots like Lovot and theThey can recognize faces. Aibo and other similar robots memorize faces not to track who enters and leaves, but to adapt to the specific preferences of different people over time.
What are the implications of facial recognition?
Unlike other forms of biometric authentication, cameras can collect information about your face with or without your knowledge or consent. If you are a person who cares about your privacy, we tell you that you may be putting your data in danger when you are in a public place, without knowing it.
Because this technology is so new, there are no laws in the United States that limit what companies can do with the images on your face after capturing them. Recently, a bipartisan bill was presented to the Senate to remedy this lack of regulation.
Last year, the(American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU) submitted a petition to Amazon asking it to stop sharing its facial recognition technology with police forces and the Government, and called the picture "a manual for authoritarian surveillance."
According to a report from Buzzfeed (in English), the US Customs and Border Protection Office. He plans to implement facial recognition to verify the identity of passengers on international flights at airports throughout the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center shared documents with Buzzfeed that suggest that the Customs and Border Protection Office omitted to collect public opinions before starting to implement these systems, that these have a questionable accuracy rate and Few privacy regulations as to what airlines can do with this facial information after they have collected it.
NBC News inform (link in English) that image databases used to improve facial recognition have often been obtained from social networking sites without the consent of the person or photographer. Companies like IBM have the stated objective of using these images to try to improve the accuracy of facial recognition, especially among people of color. In theory, when processing data from a large catalog of faces, the system can refine its algorithms to respond to a greater variety of facial structures.
The(Electronic Frontier Foundation) indicates that current facial recognition systems tend to produce a disproportionately high number of false positives when identifying people from minority groups. The NBC article also details how it can be a tedious or even impossible process for private citizens to opt for their images not to be used in these databases.
for its facial recognition technology, called DeepFace, which identifies the people in the photos without their consent. Ring smart home products company, a subsidiary of Amazon, was also criticized last year for filing patents based on facial technology that could have violated civil rights.
Ring bells will have monitored neighborhoods for known sex offenders and those on the "most wanted" lists, and then may have automatically notified police authorities. The idea was criticized for targeting people unfairly considered a threat, and potentially even political activists.
The science behind facial recognition is certainly exciting, and technology could lead us to have safer and more personalized smart homes, but it could also easily result in a loss of privacy, unfair categorizations and violations of personal rights. Although the impact of facial recognition is still being determined and debated, it is important to recognize that it is no longer a distant concept reserved for the field of science fiction. For better or worse, facial recognition is here, and it is spreading rapidly.