Facial recognition: Get to know the tech that gets to know you
We as human beings, have the ability to tell people apart, just by looking at their faces, light hits a face, and it bounces back into our eyes and up to our brains Where some biological process happens and then we can say, yeah, that's-
Okay, yeah, so this isn't earth-shattering.
But our brain's ability to recognize and remember faces is actually incredible.
And now, Machines can do it too.
Facial recognition is a blossoming field of technology that's equal parts cool and creepy.
Here's an overview of how it works, where it's being used, and what the implications are for privacy and security.
A computer takes an image and calculates that Between major structural pieces, like your nose and your eyes.
It could also take into account the width and curves of your face or the depth of your eye sockets.
These measurements are converted to a numerical code called your faceprint.
Once a computer knows your faceprint, it looks in a database of images that have already gone through the process To see if it can find any matching codes, voila facial recognition.
Facial recognition was developed using 2D images.
Since they can't take depth into account, 2D systems really rely on the distances between your facial features or landmarks.
But angles and lighting can cause bad reading.
The distance between your eyes and your nose, looks very different in a straight-arm image vs a profile pic.
Some systems address this issue by mapping a 2D image on to a 3D head, and undoing the rotation.
3D cameras sense depth by projecting invisible light on to a face, and using sensors to capture the distance of various points of that light.
From the camera itself.
Apple's Face ID on current iPhones use 30,000 infrared dots to line the contours of your face.
Thanks to the extra depth measurements, 3D images aren't as easily fooled by angles, but can still be defeated by different expressions, or wearing glasses, or growing facial hair.
A new tech called skin texture analysis could help with that.
It still measures the distance between landmarks but the scale is much, much smaller.
It actually measures the distance between pores.
Skin texture analysis is pretty new but it could eventually be so precise as to reliably tell the difference between twins Thanks to this infrared cam, you can actually see the iPhone working to read my face.
That's how a lot of us are using this technology right now.
It's not just Apple, though.
Google has this on the Pixel 2 Samsung has it on the Galaxy S9.
Facebook uses it to tag you in your Friend's photos.
Google photos uses it to categorize your gallery.
It's what's behind these face filters on Instagram and Snapchat.
Even home security cameras like the Nest Hello are using it to tell the difference between a stranger and a member of your family.
Your face could one day serve as your boarding pass Passengers flying out of Orlando have already got a taste of what that's like.
That all sounds great, right?
But I'm sure you've recognized the problem.
A camera in a public place could recognize you without you even knowing about it.
One of your biometric identifiers is just kinda out there.
And if an unsecure system grabs an image of you, a hacker could find a way to access that data.
Or maybe the whole reason the camera was there in the first place was to track your location, whether you wanted it to or not.
Shopping malls could make personalized recommendations as soon as you walk in if they know your face and have seen you around before.
Facial recognition is being used by police in places like London and China.
It can match Is to a database of mug shots.
Taylor Swift used to watch out for stalkers at one of our concerts.
The American Civil Liberties Union has protested the use of facial recognition by government bodies because of its implications for a surveillance state.
Recently, Facebook was hit with a lawsuit as their tech ID people without their consent the ring video doorbell came under fire to.
For filing a patent that would have its cameras monitoring neighborhoods for sex offenders and the like.
So while facial recognition is cool in theory there's loads of potentially problematic consequences to consider.
The rules, regulations, and those consequences are all taking shape right now in this exciting field of tech.