Photos of different human faces with the words 'private' and 'public' overlaid.

 

A database of faces is a key element that is needed when working with any facial recognition technology. Without it, an algorithm can not ensure accuracy when comparing or recognizing unknown images to older identified images just like without a battery, your computer won’t turn on.

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Photo of some youg people at a picnic in a park with the words 'let's talk about public saftey'

 

Technology is changing and evolving every day at an increasing rate. It seems like every week we hear about a new tool we can use, a new software that will soon be part of our lives, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming. With all this new information out there how can we be sure that the technology we are developing is being used for good?

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Illustration of lots of human eyes with a magnify glass symbolising surviellence

 

1984, George Orwell said it best “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, a line that seems to be repeated in different ways in different mediums over the course of human history. Big brother is usually a reference to the government, but it’s any authoritative power, who uses force, power, and technology to mindlessly control the majority of the population.

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Photo of happy young girl with text explaining the micro expressions of the emotion 'Joy'

 

Imagine you are watching a political debate where Candidate A is passionately going on about a topic and Candidate B is listening attentively. The camera zooms in on Candidate A whose eyes are wide open and hands are gesticulating. As the camera pans to candidate B you see it, a smirk, and a quick eyebrow raise. It only takes a fraction of a section but through this small group of facial movements you have learned that Candidate B does not agree with Candidate A. Candidate B didn’t have to say a word, the distaste was shown through a micro expression, which will gain or lose voters’ sway just like that.

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Illustration of the world and a smiley face, both on a green background

 

Whatever your opinion about facial recognition software, it’s clear it’s becoming an integral part of everyday life. Whether it’s preventing and eliminating crime, identifying lost children, ensuring deliveries, or just bringing some much needed humanity to the tech revolution. Afterall, in the not too distant future, every ‘thing’, we are told, will be connected to the Internet. It’s only a matter of time before those ‘things’ are able to recognize and understand us.

Now to some this may feel like an Orwellian prophecy come true, yet, on closer inspection, this simply isn’t the case. Companies, both big and small, are thinking deeply about how to make our lives easier with this technology.

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