"What exactly is computer vision then? Computer vision is a research field working to equip computers with the ability to process and understand visual data, as sighted humans can. Human brains process the gigabytes of data passing through our eyes every second and translate that data into sight - that is, into discrete objects and entities we can recognise or understand. Similarly, computer vision aims to give computers the ability to understand what they are seeing, and act intelligently on that knowledge."
– Computer vision: Cheat Sheet. ZDNet.com (December 6, 2011), by Natasha Lomas.
In a previous post we saw basic object recognition in images using Google's TensorFlow library from Smalltalk. This post will walk you step by step through the process of using a pre-trained model to detect objects in an image. It may also catch your attention that we are doing this from VASmalltalk rather than Python. Check out the previous post to see why I believe Smalltalk could be a great choice for doing Machine Learning. We provide a collection of detection models pre-trained on the COCO dataset, the Kitti dataset, the Open Images dataset, the AVA v2.1 dataset and the iNaturalist Species Detection Dataset.
Over the past several years, commercial use of biometric data has become increasingly prevalent. In response, several states have adopted biometric data privacy legislation. Consequently, companies that rely on biometric data face new regulatory risks, in addition to increased legal exposure to individual and class action lawsuits. In fact, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed certification of a class action alleging Facebook's face-scanning practices violate Illinois' biometric privacy law, finding that the class alleged sufficiently concrete injuries based on Facebook's alleged use of facial recognition technology without users' consent to establish standing. Insurance policies currently available on the market, including cyber insurance policies, may not adequately cover these risks.
With all of the progress we've seen in deep learning tech in the past few years, it seems pretty inevitable that security cameras become smarter and more capable in regards to tracking, but there are more options than we think in how we choose to pull this off. Traces AI is a new computer vision startup, in Y Combinator's latest batch of bets, that's focused on helping cameras track people without relying on facial recognition data, something the founders believe is too invasive of the public's privacy. We can use your hair style, whether you have a backpack, your type of shoes and the combination of your clothing," co-founder Veronika Yurchuk tells TechCrunch. Tech like this obviously doesn't scale too well for a multi-day city-wide manhunt, and leaves room for some Jason Bourne-esque criminals to turn their jackets inside out and toss on a baseball cap to evade detection. As a potential customer, why forego a sophisticated technology just to stave off dystopia? Well, Traces AI isn't so convinced that facial recognition tech is always the best solution; they believe that facial tracking isn't something every customer wants or needs and there should be more variety in terms of solutions. "The biggest concern [detractors] have is, 'Okay, you want to ban the technology that is actually protecting people today, and will be protecting this country tomorrow?'
Manchester City have been cautioned against the introduction of facial recognition technology, which a civil rights group says would risk "normalising a mass surveillance tool". The reigning Premier League champions are considering introducing technology allowing fans to get into the Etihad Stadium more quickly by showing their faces instead of tickets, according to the Sunday Times. If someone is recognised as having bought a ticket, they would be ushered in by a green light, and if not they would be halted with a yellow one. Hannah Couchman, the policy and campaigns officer at Liberty, said: "This is a disturbing move by Manchester City, subjecting football fans to an intrusive scan, much like taking a fingerprint, just so they can go to the Saturday game. "It's alarming that fans will be sharing deeply sensitive personal information with a private company that boasts about collecting and sharing data on each person that walks through the gate, and using this to deny people entry.
Last week, all of us who live in the UK, and all who visit us, discovered that our faces were being scanned secretly by private companies and have been for some time. We don't know what these companies are doing with our faces or how long they've been doing it because they refused to share this with the Financial Times, which reported on Monday that facial recognition technology is being used in King's Cross and may be deployed in Canary Wharf, two areas that cover more than 160 acres of London. We are just as ignorant about what has been happening to our faces when they're scanned by the property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos that have also been secretly using facial recognition technology on us, according to the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch. But we can take a good guess. They may be matching us against police watchlists, maintaining their own watchlists or sharing their watchlists with the police, other companies and other governments.
Their lifeless eyes peer from building facades, lampposts and streetlight poles. They never sleep, never even blink. And now, enabled by advances in computing power and artificial intelligence, surveillance cameras can do more than just watch. They can recognize, and they can remember. The district attorney for Pennsylvania's second-most-populous county has assembled a network of advanced surveillance cameras in and around Pittsburgh and has enlisted colleagues in four surrounding counties to extend its reach into their jurisdictions.
Many airports hope to start using biometric scanners in lieu of passports to identify travelers. Buzz60's Tony Spitz has the details. The next time you go to the airport you might notice something different as part of the security process: A machine scanning your face to verify your identity. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working with airlines to implement biometric face scanners in domestic airports to better streamline security. But how does the process work?
Privacy campaigners have warned of an "epidemic" of facial recognition use in shopping centres, museums, conference centres and other private spaces around the UK. An investigation by Big Brother Watch (BBW), which tracks the use of surveillance, has found that private companies are spearheading a rollout of the controversial technology. The group published its findings a day after the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, announced she was opening an investigation into the use of facial recognition in a major new shopping development in central London. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has already raised questions about the legality of the use of facial recognition at the 27-hectare (67-acre) Granary Square site in King's Cross after its owners admitted using the technology "in the interests of public safety". BBW said it had uncovered that sites across the country were using facial recognition, often without warning visitors.