Facebook launches facial recognition app in Europe (without facial recognition)

The Guardian

Almost a year after it came out in the US, Facebook is releasing its facial recognition-powered photo app Moments in Europe. Except the new version won't actually include any facial recognition technology, thanks to the company's long-running fight with the Irish data protection commissioner over whether the technology is actually legal in the EU. Launched in June, Moments is Facebook's answer to dedicated photo management applications like Google Photos and Apple's Photos. The app bundles pictures together by the event they're taken at, and applies facial recognition technology to identify who's in each picture. Facebook takes the offering a step further than Apple or Google, by leveraging its social network: once you've created your "moments", you can share them with other people at the same event, to ensure that they have the photos of them, and you have the photos of you.


Facebook must fight for its facial recognition tech in court

New Scientist

A judge ruled last week that a US class-action lawsuit arguing that Facebook's use of its facial recognition tech violates Illinois law will go ahead, despite the company's attempts to dismiss it. The company has used this data to develop powerful artificial intelligence that can identify individual's faces in photos with more than 97 per cent accuracy. This lets Facebook automatically tag people in your newly uploaded images. Not everyone is happy with the feature, however. Last year, a group of Facebook users in Illinois filed a civil complaint, claiming that it violated the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act.


Want to beat facial recognition? Get some funky tortoiseshell glasses

The Guardian

A team of researchers from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University have created sets of eyeglasses that can prevent wearers from being identified by facial recognition systems, or even fool the technology into identifying them as completely unrelated individuals. In their paper, Accessorize to a Crime: Real and Stealthy Attacks on State-of-the-Art Face Recognition, presented at the 2016 Computer and Communications Security conference, the researchers present their system for what they describe as "physically realisable" and "inconspicuous" attacks on facial biometric systems, which are designed to exclusively identify a particular individual. The attack works by taking advantage of differences in how humans and computers understand faces. By selectively changing pixels in an image, it's possible to leave the human-comprehensible facial image largely unchanged, while flummoxing a facial recognition system trying to categorise the person in the picture. Where the researchers struck gold was by realising that a large (but not overly large pair of glasses) could act to "change the pixels" even in a real photo.


Military relaxes rules on appearance to recruit long-haired computer experts as 'cyber warriors'

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display


Apple Reportedly Acquires AI-Based Facial Recognition Startup RealFace

#artificialintelligence

In a bid to boost its prospects in the world of artificial intelligence (AI), Apple has acquired Israel-based startup RealFace that develops deep learning-based face authentication technology, media reported on Monday. Reported by Calcalist, the acquisition is to be worth roughly $2 million (roughly Rs. 13.39 crores). A Times of Israel report cites Startup Nation Central to note RealFace had raised $1 million in funding thus far, employed about 10 people, and had sales operations China, Europe, Israel, and the US. Set up in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, RealFace has developed a facial recognition software that offers users a smart biometric login, aiming to make passwords redundant when accessing mobile devices or PCs. The firm's first app - Pickeez - selects the best photos from the user's album.