It’s not any secret facial recognition is used to track internet users. Facebook already uses this method to suggest tags for users’ posts. Google+ utilizes the technology for its social network. However, there is an artificial intelligence system known as “DeepFace,” that goes beyond any current software.
Facebook researchers recently published a paper detailing the capabilities of DeepFace, and its talent is rather astonishing. Humans have a 97.53% accuracy rate when dealing with facial recognition. The percentage for DeepFace? 97.25%.
Current facial recognition software lacks accuracy when it doesn’t have a direct frontal view of its subjects. DeepFace, however, actually creates 3-D images of faces, which it then analyzes with a technology called “deep learning.” This system imitates the brain’s neuron connections that draw conclusions from analyzing data. Based on 120 million parameters, DeepFace comes to its conclusions.
As the Facebook researchers put it, this is a substantial improvement on facial recognition software; even state-of-the-art equipment. For now, though, DeepFace is still considered to be “theoretical research” according to Facebook spokesperson, Lydia Chan.
However, it’s not hard to see how advancements in facial recognition software could mean great strides for brands being able to reach potential customers and even for public surveillance. Intel has already developed a system where facial-detection cameras figure a consumer’s gender and age, and product ads are adjusted accordingly. Law enforcement agencies have also been putting this software to good use by experimenting with surveillance and investigation.
What does this mean for the future? To put it simply, it means the potential for more sophisticated surveillance on a variety of levels. Ads for consumers can be much more targeted, and the government’s tracking of the public’s movements can be increased. It also means disputes regarding the public’s privacy are likely to arise. Facebook researchers stated society will have to deal with these questions as technology advances. Meanwhile, it may only be a matter of time before advanced software like DeepFace comes to a device near you.