Facial recognition technology used by the UK police is making thousands of mistakes - and now there could be legal repercussions. Civil liberties group, Big Brother Watch, has teamed up with Baroness Jenny Jones to ask the government and the Met to stop using the technology. They claim the use of facial recognition has proven to be'dangerously authoritarian', inaccurate and a breach if rights protecting privacy and freedom of expression. If their request is rejected, the group says it will take the case to court in what will be the first legal challenge of its kind. South Wales Police, London's Met and Leicestershire are all trialling automated facial recognition systems in public places to identify wanted criminals.
Police in London are moving ahead with a deploying a facial recognition camera system despite privacy concerns and evidence that the technology is riddled with false positives. The Metropolitan Police, the U.K.'s biggest police department with jurisdiction over most of London, announced Friday it would begin rolling out new "live facial recognition" cameras in London, making the capital one of the largest cities in the West to adopt the controversial technology. The "Met," as the police department is known in London, said in a statement the facial recognition technology, which is meant to identify people on a watch list and alert police to their real-time location, would be "intelligence-led" and deployed to only specific locations. It's expected to be rolled out as soon as next month. However, privacy activists immediately raised concerns, noting that independent reviews of trials of the technology showed a failure rate of 81%.
Over the past few months, high-profile incidents in the United Kingdom, one of the most surveilled societies in the world, forced people to consider how facial recognition will be used there. Brexit taking up most of the oxygen in the room hasn't made that debate any easier, but in conversations with VentureBeat, three experts from different backgrounds -- Ada Lovelace Institute director Carly Kind, the U.K.'s surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter, and University of Essex professor Daragh Murray, who studies police use of facial recognition -- all agree that the U.K. needs to find a middle ground. All three agree that years of Brexit debate have stifled necessary reform, and that leaving the European Union could carry consequences for years to come as police and businesses continue experiments with facial recognition in the U.K. They also worry that an inability to take action could lead to calls for a ban or overregulation, or far more dystopian scenarios of facial recognition everywhere. The Terminator's got serious competition for symbolizing the fear of technology trampling human rights. Facial recognition has become a major issue around the globe due both to its deeply personal and pervasive nature as well as advances in AI that now make it work in real time.
University of Western Australia researchers have designed a new system for large-scale 3D facial recognition that addresses the shortcomings of 2D facial recognition. The team from the university's UWA Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering created the "FR3DNet" model, which has analysed 3.1 million 3D scans of more than 100,000 people. According to findings published in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, the team trained FR3DNet, which is currently available for research purposes, to learn the identities of a dataset of "known" persons and match a face to one of those identities. Unlike 2D facial recognition of photographs commonly used in surveillance, 3D models can address changes in facial texture, expression, and poses, the research said. "Our research shows that recognition performance on 3D scans is better and more robust," said the model's creator, Dr Syed Zulqarnain Gilani.
Have you ever noticed your friends getting tagged automatically after you upload a group picture? Though the technology has now gained widespread attention, its history can be traced back to the 1960s. Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe, an American mathematician and computer scientist, is one of the founders of pattern and facial recognition technology. Back in the 1960s, he developed ways to classify faces using gridlines. A striking fact was, even during the experimental and inception phase, the application was able to match 40 faces per hour.