Facial recognition technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives, with many of us using the technology every time we use our face to unlock our smartphone – a study found that we use our phones around 52 times per day. Whilst it has transformed how we access our phones, facial recognition technology is also being used in a number of industries outside of tech to improve the service that companies provide customers with. If you're a company that isn't adopting the use of facial recognition, it's time to start researching into it before you get left behind. Devices recognise their users by scanning facial features and shapes – specific contours and individual unique features help the likes of smartphones recognise users and open certain settings up on phones. For example, many banking apps now allow users to login to their internet banking through the use of their face – this, in some ways, is far safer than the previous ways of using online banking which would either include an individual code or a series of questions to answer that only the user would know.
Facial recognition technology has dominated discussions in technology circles for some time now. Faced with increased surveillance in public spaces, it has become imperative for stakeholders to have some input on future deployments of these novel technologies. More importantly, the general public should have some degree of understanding of facial recognition and how it's being used today. Facial recognition is a term used to refer to technologies used to analyze and recognize faces from video recordings and still images. Advancements in image processing and AI have enabled today's computer to read even the subtlest details in the human face like eyelashes to differentiate people.
Recently San Francisco passed – in an 8-to-1 vote -- a ban on local agencies to use facial recognition technologies. The move is likely not to be a one-off either. Other local governments are exploring similar prohibitions, so as to deal with the potential Orwellian risks that the technology may harm people's privacy. "In the mad dash towards AI and analytics, we often turn a blind eye to their long-range societal implications which can lead to startling conclusions," said Kon Leong, who is the CEO of ZL Technologies. Yet some tech companies are getting proactive.
Last September, the world welcomed Juggalos (or Juggalettes, depending on which you prefer) to The Resistance when they marched on Washington en masse to protest the policies of the Trump administration. As if they weren't already doing the absolute most, the die-hard fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse have become accidental heroes for people concerned about facial recognition tech: According to Twitter user @tahkion, a computer science blogger for WonderHowTo, Juggalo makeup outmatches the machine learning algorithms that govern facial recognition technology. In a series of follow-up tweets, @tahkion explained that facial recognition works by pinpointing the areas of contrast on a human face--for instance, where a nose is located, or where the chin becomes the neck. As it happens, juggalo makeup often involves applying black paint below the mouth, but above the chin. That makes facial recognition vulnerable to misidentifying the placement of the jaw.