"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
This week, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. To commemorate the outgoing Donald Trump's four years in office, we took a look at the most absurd, bizarre, or outright dangerous things Trump has said about cybersecurity. He's also not saying them on Parler, because no one has since the far-right platform got booted by Amazon Web Services. But! Remember how hackers downloaded every public post, image, and video from Parler right before it went down? A new site called Faces of the Riot has run that trove through some machine-learning and facial-recognition software to publish thousands of images of people who were at the Capitol Hill protests--and riots--on January 6.
I suspect we will see OSTP emphasize tech accountability under her leadership, which will be especially pertinent to hot button AI issues like facial recognition, algorithmic bias, data privacy, corporate influence on research, and the myriad of other issues that I write about in The Algorithm. Finally, Biden's new secretary of state made clear that technology will still be an important geopolitical force. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Antony Blinken remarked that there is "an increasing divide between techno democracies and techno autocracies. Whether techno democracies or techno autocracies are the ones who get to define how tech is used…will go a long way toward shaping the next decades." As pointed out by Politico, this most clearly is an allusion to China, and the idea that the US is in a race with the country to develop emerging technologies like AI and 5G.
When hackers exploited a bug in Parler to download all of the right-wing social media platform's contents last week, they were surprised to find that many of the pictures and videos contained geolocation metadata revealing exactly how many of the site's users had taken part in the invasion of the US Capitol building just days before. But the videos uploaded to Parler also contain an equally sensitive bounty of data sitting in plain sight: thousands of images of unmasked faces, many of whom participated in the Capitol riot. Now one website has done the work of cataloging and publishing every one of those faces in a single, easy-to-browse lineup. Late last week, a website called Faces of the Riot appeared online, showing nothing but a vast grid of more than 6,000 images of faces, each one tagged only with a string of characters associated with the Parler video in which it appeared. The site's creator tells WIRED that he used simple open source machine learning and facial recognition software to detect, extract, and deduplicate every face from the 827 videos that were posted to Parler from inside and outside the Capitol building on January 6, the day when radicalized Trump supporters stormed the building in a riot that resulted in five people's deaths.
While face masks were once rare sightings, they're now compulsory in a range of settings across the UK. The face coverings play a key role in stopping the spread of Covid-19, yet many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhones using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID. Now, a report indicates that Apple could be bringing back its Touch ID technology in its 2021 iPhone, in the form of an in-screen fingerprint reader, to help users unlock their smartphones without having to remove their masks. Rather than being a replacement for Face ID, Touch ID would be an additional method of unlocking the iPhone, according to the report. Many iPhone users have been frustrated that their masks have prevented them from unlocking their iPhone using Apple's facial recognition technology, Face ID (stock image) The report, by Bloomberg, indicates that changes to this year's iPhone will be minor.
Local businesses close as more National Guard troops deploy in the nation's capital. Selfie-snapping Capitol rioters left investigators a treasure trove of evidence -- at least 140,000 pictures and videos taken during the deadly Jan. 6 siege, according to federal prosecutors. The mass of digital evidence from media reports, live-streams and social media posts has been crucial to the FBI, which by Friday had identified more than 275 suspects, with close to 100 charged, officials said. Investigators have been working with social media and phone companies to help ID suspects -- as well as using advanced facial recognition technology, according to Bloomberg News. FILE: Rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.
The US Army just took a giant step toward developing killer robots that can see and identify faces in the dark. DEVCOM, the US Army's corporate research department, last week published a pre-print paper documenting the development of an image database for training AI to perform facial recognition using thermal images. Why this matters: Robots can use night vision optics to effectively see in the dark, but to date there's been no method by which they can be trained to identify surveillance targets using only thermal imagery. This database, made up of hundreds of thousands of images consisting of regular light pictures of people and their corresponding thermal images, aims to change that. How it works: Much like any other facial recognition system, an AI would be trained to categorize images using a specific number of parameters.
The Stanford research who made headlines in 2017 for designing an AI that uses'facial landmarks' to determine a person's sexual preference is back with what may be another controversial system. Dr. Michal Kosinski claims to have a facial recognition algorithm capable of identifying if a person is a liberal or conservative based on a single photo – and with over 70 percent accuracy. The technology, which builds on the 2017 AI, was trained with more than a million images from dating websites and Facebook and programmed to focus in on expressions and posture. Although Kosinski and his team were unable to pin down exact characteristics the algorithm associated with a political preference, but they did find some trends like head orientation and emotional expression in pictures. Some examples include people who looked directly at the camera were labeled as liberal and those showing disgust were judged as more conservative.
Lenovo Group Ltd. is capitalizing on two booming markets, Chinese stocks and the global PC industry, to list in Shanghai. The company is the world's largest maker of personal computers and is well-known for acquiring IBM's ThinkPad unit and the Motorola Mobility smartphone business. The news that Lenovo would join the STAR Market, China's answer to the Nasdaq, boosted its Hong Kong-traded shares, which on Wednesday hit their highest level since 2015. A series of Chinese technology companies have recently listed in mainland China or in Hong Kong, amid heightened tensions with the U.S. Beijing has also encouraged companies to join the fledgling STAR Market, also known as the Science and Technology Innovation Board, by introducing more relaxed listing rules and other requirements compared with other Chinese markets. Lenovo and Megvii Technology Ltd., an artificial-intelligence startup specializing in facial recognition, will be among the first companies to make use of a structure known as a Chinese depositary receipt to raise funds.
Laura Ingraham warns the left wants to treat its opponents'like the Chinese treat their dissidents' Democrats and their mainstream media allies are hell-bent on suppressing dissenting voices as the Biden administration takes office, Laura Ingraham warned viewers Tuesday. "The Ingraham Angle" host called out Washington Post associate editor Eugene Robinson, who said during an appearance on MSNBC earlier Tuesday that "there are millions of Americans, almost all White, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed. "It is as though they are members of a cult, the Trumpist cult," added Robinson. "In their continued effort to use the Capitol incursion for political gain, Democrats feel emboldened to smear tens of millions of Trump supporters," Ingraham replied. "They feel no need to debate issues or policies, not when they can treat their political opponents the way the Chinese treat its dissidents." HANNITY DISMISSES'INSANE' SUGGESTION HAWLEY, CRUZ COULD BE ADDED TO NO-FLY LIST OVER CAPITOL RIOT "Apparently, they are now in favor of separating families," added Ingraham, referring to a since-fired PBS lawyer caught in a Project Veritas sting saying Trump is "close to Hitler" and that the Department of Homeland Security should set up "reeducation camps". "I thought they were against that." However, the host noted, these same figures were silent as Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups tore through urban areas last summer, looting big-box retailers, setting fires and at times blowing up automated teller machines. "We heard no talk of manhunts or big pushes for facial recognition technology or adding supportive politicians to no-fly lists," she said. "Where were the cries for swift justice back then?
The Los Angeles Police Commission approved a policy Tuesday that set new parameters on the LAPD's use of facial recognition technology, but stopped far short of the outright ban sought by many city activists. The move followed promises by the commission to review the Los Angeles Police Department's use of photo-comparison software in September, after The Times reported that officers had used the technology -- contrary to department claims -- more than 30,000 times since 2009. The new policy restricts LAPD detectives and other trained officers to using a single software platform operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which only uses mugshots and is far less expansive than some third-party search platforms. It also mandates new measures for tracking the Police Department's use of the county system and its outcomes in the crime fight. Commissioners and top police executives praised the policy as a step in the right direction, saying it struck the right balance between protecting people's civil liberties and giving cops the tools they need to solve and reduce crime -- which is on the rise.