"Computers have been getting better and better at seeing movement on video. How is it that they read lips, follow a dancing girl or copy an actor making faces?"
– from Andrew Blake. Introduction to Active Contours and Visual Dynamics. Visual Dynamics Group, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
The state of Washington has made it legal for law enforcement and other state agencies to use facial recognition. The new law makes Washington the first state in the US to legalize facial recognition software for government business. Facial recognition has been used by a number of law enforcement agencies at the city and county level, but it has never been formally legalized at either the state or federal level. Washington has become the first state in the US to officially legalize facial recognition software for law enforcement, which it says will be limited to finding missing persons, identifying the deceased, and'for the purposes of keeping the public safe' According to the law, facial recognition will be limited to a handful of uses, including efforts to'locate or identify missing persons, and identify deceased persons, including missing or murdered indigenous women, subjects of Amber alerts and silver alerts, and other possible crime victims, for the purposes of keeping the public safe.' Agencies that want to use facial recognition technology will have to file a notice of intent with the state government along with an accountability report that details how and why they need the technology, according to a report in InfoSecurity.
Cartoonists have captivated generations by humanising mice, from the enigmatic Mickey Mouse and charming Stuart Little to the smooth-talking Speedy Gonzales and wily Jerry, who continually outsmarts Tom, the dumb housecat. Turns out, they might have been onto something – at least when it comes to the little critters having emotions – according to research published in the journal Science. Back in 1872, Charles Darwin proposed that the universal, innate and communicative emotions of animals and humans can be best understood through facial expressions. Humans clearly use the same expressions to convey emotion. For instance, disgust makes us wrinkle our nose, narrow our eyes and distort our upper lip; if we're happy we smile and if something makes us sad our lips droop down at the edges.
Facial recognition is arguably the most talked-about technology within the artificial intelligence landscape due to its wide range of applications and biased outputs. Several countries are adopting this technology for surveillance purposes, most notably China and India. Both are among the first countries to make use of this technology on a large scale. Even the EU has pulled back from banning this technology for some years and has left it for the countries to decide. This will increase the demand for professionals who can develop solutions around facial recognition technology to simplify life and make operations efficient.
Mice move their ears, cheeks and eyes to convey emotion.Credit: Getty Researchers have used a machine-learning algorithm to decipher the seemingly inscrutable facial expressions of laboratory mice. The work could have implications for pinpointing neurons in the human brain that encode particular expressions. Their study "is an important first step" in understanding some of the mysterious aspects of emotions and how they manifest in the brain, says neuroscientist David Anderson at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Nearly 150 years ago, Charles Darwin proposed that facial expressions in animals might provide a window onto their emotions, as they do in humans. But researchers have only recently gained the tools -- such as powerful microscopes, cameras and genetic techniques -- to reliably capture and analyse facial movement, and investigate how emotions arise in the brain.
Microsoft President Brad Smith took a break from responding to the COVID-19 outbreak Tuesday to praise Washington state's landmark facial recognition regulations. Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday that establishes rules specifically governing facial recognition software. Smith called the law an "early and important model" and "a significant breakthrough" in a blog post published Tuesday. Some cities have enacted their own facial recognition rules, but Washington is the first to establish statewide regulations. "This balanced approach ensures that facial recognition can be used as a tool to protect the public, but only in ways that respect fundamental rights and serve the public interest," Smith said.
Microsoft is pulling out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer as part of a broader policy shift to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups, the company announced late last week. The decision to withdraw its investment from AnyVision, an Israeli company developing facial recognition software, came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision's technology was being used by the Israeli government to surveil residents in the West Bank. The investigation, conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at Covington & Burling, confirmed that AnyVision's technology was used to monitor border crossings between the West Bank and Israel, but did not "power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank." Microsoft's venture capital arm, M12 Ventures, backed AnyVision as part of the company's $74 million financing round which closed in June 2019. Investors who continue to back the company include DFJ Growth and OG Technology Partners, LightSpeed Venture Partners, Robert Bosch GmbH, Qualcomm Ventures, and Eldridge Industries.
The benefits of facial recognition technology and its cons are controversial issues. Many stakeholders are pointing out the pros, but there are also detractors voicing its disadvantages. There are many concerns around face recognition technology, such as invasion of privacy, abuse of power, what rogue elements within government agencies could do with it, and more. Already, the heated debate around facial recognition has caused some public relations backlashes. As a result, investors could stay clear of the technology, inhibiting its development.
We live in an age where we have unprecedented access to almost any information we need. With the emergence of new technology like artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition, big data and more, the human experience is being changed forever. Almost anything you need is just a tap away; but this access comes at a price--data for data. A simple online search may seem harmless, but before you know it, you're being bombarded with ads offering you exactly what you were looking for. How exactly does this work?
What's happening in Japan is written all over our faces -- our blank, expressionless, masked faces. Never before, it seems safe to say, have so many people gone about masked. Thus we confront the microbes that assault us. "As self-protection, your mask is practically useless," says Shukan Gendai magazine this month. Commercial face masks, medical authorities say, can block particles measuring 3 to 5 micrometers.