At the end of each summer for the last 14 years, the small Welsh town of Porthcawl has been invaded. Every year its 16,000 population is swamped by up to 35,000 Elvis fans. Many people attending the yearly festival look the same: they slick back their hair, throw on oversized sunglasses and don white flares. At 2017's Elvis festival, impersonators were faced with something different. Police were trialling automated facial recognition technology to track down criminals.
Police in South Wales have arrested a man using automatic facial recognition software. It's the first time a person has been seized this way in the UK, according to Wales Online, following a series of trials at large-scale public events including Download music festival and Notting Hill Carnival. The most recent was the Champions League final in Cardiff, which took place last Saturday (June 3rd). The man, however, was arrested three days beforehand (May 31st). In a statement to Ars Technica UK, police confirmed he was a local resident and "unconnected" to the game in Cardiff.
South Wales Police carried out the U.K.'s first arrest using facial recognition, Ars Technica UK reported. The arrest using automatic facial recognition (AFR) was made on May 31 and was not related to the Champions League final. It's unclear whether the apprehension was due to authorities testing the technology prior to the match. International Business Times has reached out to South Wales Police regarding the arrest. The department previously said there was "a very low number of arrests over the period of the festival including match day," in a statement on Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin was not in attendance, but his loyal lieutenants were. On 14 July last year, the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and several members of his cabinet convened in an office building on the outskirts of Moscow. On to the stage stepped a boyish-looking psychologist, Michal Kosinski, who had been flown from the city centre by helicopter to share his research. "There was Lavrov, in the first row," he recalls several months later, referring to Russia's foreign minister. "You know, a guy who starts wars and takes over countries." Kosinski, a 36-year-old assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford University, was flattered that the Russian cabinet would gather to listen to him talk. "Those guys strike me as one of the most competent and well-informed groups," he tells me. Kosinski's "stuff" includes groundbreaking research into technology, mass persuasion and artificial intelligence (AI) – research that inspired the creation of the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Five years ago, while a graduate student at Cambridge University, he showed how even benign activity on Facebook could reveal personality traits – a discovery that was later exploited by the data-analytics firm that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.