The artificial intelligence lab at Facebook presented an algorithm earlier this month at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference that they say can judge your identity in a photo with 83 percent accuracy—even without seeing your face.
The identification method, named PIPER (Pose Invariant Person Recognition), takes into account identifying features, poses, partially exposed faces and more subtle clues that facial recognition technology usually can’t compute.
“There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” said Yann LeCun, the head of Facebook’s AI team. “For example, you can recognize Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”
While the technology is undeniably impressive and powerful, some people are undoubtedly going to react negatively to its perceived creepiness. That even includes other academics in the AI field.
“If, even when you hide your face, you can be successfully linked to your identify, that will certainly concern people,” Ralph Gross, a postdoctoral fellow at The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told New Scientist. “Now is a time when it’s important to discuss these questions.”
Facebook seems to be obsessed with perfecting this technology, and whether users find it troublesome or not, they’re going to keep innovating it.
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