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Police trial AI software to help process mobile phone evidence

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Artificial intelligence software capable of interpreting images, matching faces and analysing patterns of communication is being piloted by UK police forces to speed up examination of mobile phones seized in crime investigations. Cellebrite, the Israeli-founded and now Japanese-owned company behind some of the software, claims a wider rollout would solve problems over failures to disclose crucial digital evidence that have led to the collapse of a series of rape trials and other prosecutions in the past year. However, the move by police has prompted concerns over privacy and the potential for software to introduce bias into processing of criminal evidence. As police and lawyers struggle to cope with the exponential rise in data volumes generated by phones and laptops in even routine crime cases, the hunt is on for a technological solution to handle increasingly unmanageable workloads. Some forces are understood to have backlogs of up to six months for examining downloaded mobile phone contents.


Facial recognition may help save endangered primates

Engadget

Facial recognition isn't limited to humans. Researchers have developed a face detection system, PrimNet, that should help save endangered primates by tracking them in a non-invasive way. The neural network-based approach lets field workers keep tabs on chimpanzees, golden monkeys and lemurs just by snapping a photo of them with an Android app -- it'll either produce an exact match or turn up five close candidates. That's much gentler than tracking devices, which can stress or even hurt animals. The scientists trained PrimNet by training it on thousands of reference photos.


Police use of Amazon's face-recognition service draws privacy warnings

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Amazon is actively courting law-enforcement agencies to use a cloud-based facial-recognition service that can identify people in real time, the American Civil Liberties Union reported Tuesday, citing the documents obtained from two US departments. The service, which Amazon markets under the name Rekognition, can recognize as many as 100 people in a single image and can compare images against databases containing tens of millions of faces. Company executives describe deployment by law enforcement agencies as common use case. Rekognition is already being used by the Orlando Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, according to documents the ACLU obtained under Freedom of Information requests. Both agencies became customers last year.


Mitek Acquires AI Check Processor A2iA PYMNTS.com

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Mitek Systems, Inc., a leader in digital identity verification solutions, announced that it has acquired A2iA, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and image analysis. The deal is for €42.5 million in cash and shares of Mitek's common stock. Mitek software is used in 6,100 U.S. banks, including all of the top 10 largest U.S. financial institutions. "The acquisition of A2iA combines two market leaders in image recognition and processing, creating a powerful force with a deep expertise in image analytics," industry expert Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent said in a press release. A2iA uses AI and machine learning to create proprietary algorithms that process millions of checks, IDs and documents each day for banks, retailers, insurance companies, mobile operators, healthcare providers and governments in more than 42 countries and 11 languages.


Can You Spot The Liar In The Photo?

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How good are you at picking out fibbers from a crowd? According to a new paper from researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, there are particular (involuntary) quirks and facial movements that give us away – whether we like it or not. The team used a combination of big data, machine learning technology, and automated facial feature analysis software to identify differences in facial and verbal cues between people who are lying and people who are telling the truth. Volunteers were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk and split into pairs. In total, there were 151 couples and 1.3 million frames of expressions for the team to analyze.


Xconomy: Mitek Systems Building New Business in Verifying Online Identities

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A few years before the presidential election of 2016, with all its Wikileaks, Russian disinformation campaigns, and phony Facebook links, San Diego's Mitek Systems (NASDAQ: MITK made a strategic decision to expand into identity verification technology. Funny how things work out. While mobile banking technology still represents 60 percent of Mitek's business, COO Kalle Marsal said Thursday the company's identity verification technology is now its fastest-growing business. After paying $10.6 million in 2015 for IDchecker, a Dutch provider of identity and document authentication technology, and $15 million last October for iCar, a Barcelona-based specialist in digital identity verification software, Mitek recently closed its biggest-ever acquisition--a nearly $51 million deal for A2iA, a French company focused on artificial intelligence and imaging technology. Mitek is a onetime defense contractor that re-invented itself as a technology provider for the banking industry--initially with computer vision technology for handwriting recognition (i.e.


Congress wants answers from Amazon on facial-recognition technology

Engadget

Amazon's controversial face-recognition technology is being tested and used by the Orlando police department, and apparently Congress isn't happy about that. Two members of the House of Representatives, Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), have sent Jeff Bezos a letter demanding he explain exactly how the tech, called Rekognition, is being used by law enforcement. The Intercept was provided a copy of the letter before was publicly released. You can read it for yourself here. In it, they ask Bezos what law enforcement agencies are using the software, who Amazon has offered Rekognition to, information about error rates and bias and how Amazon is making sure its software isn't used to further systems that disproportionately impact protected groups.


100 years of motion-capture technology

Engadget

Modern motion-capture systems are the product of a century of tinkering, innovation and computational advances. Mocap was born a lifetime before Gollum hit the big screen in The Lord of the Rings, and ages before the Cold War, Vietnam War or World War II. It was 1915, in the midst of the First World War, when animator Max Fleischer developed a technique called rotoscoping and laid the foundation for today's cutting-edge mocap technology. Rotoscoping was a primitive and time-consuming process, but it was a necessary starting point for the industry. In the rotoscope method, animators stood at a glass-topped desk and traced over a projected live-action film frame-by-frame, copying actors' or animals' actions directly onto a hand-drawn world.


Orlando confirms it's testing Amazon's facial recognition in public

Engadget

After the ACLU discovered that Orlando's cops are using Amazon's controversial Rekognition facial detection system, police chief John Mina said they're only testing the software at their headquarters. Now, Mina has admitted at a news conference that three of the city's IRIS cameras downtown are also equipped with the software. He insisted that despite Rekognition's presence in public cameras, it can still only track the seven officers who volunteered to test the system. Mina admitted that they could use the software to track persons of interest in the future, but they're "a long way from that." "We test new equipment all the time. We test new guns, new vests, new shields, new things for police cars all the time.


Is Amazon's facial recognition system RACIST?

Daily Mail

Amazon's facial recognition tool is being referred to as a'recipe for authoritarianism and disaster' after it was revealed to be used by law enforcement officials. Now experts say it raises even greater concerns, as the artificial intelligence used to power the technology could exhibit racial bias. Many are calling on Amazon to release data that shows they've trained the software to reduce bias, but it has yet to do so. A controversial facial recognition tool, dubbed Rekognition, marketed to police has been defended by its creator, online retailer Amazon. The controversy was spurred by a report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which found that Amazon's facial recognition tool, dubbed'Rekognition', is being used by law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Florida.