A photo from a summer camp posted to the camp's website so parents can view them. Venture capital-backed Waldo Photos has been selling the service to identify specific children in the flood of photos provided daily to parents by many sleep-away camps. Camps working with the Austin, Texas-based company give parents a private code to sign up. When the camp uploads photos taken during activities to its website, Waldo's facial recognition software scans for matches in the parent-provided headshots. Once it finds a match, the Waldo system (as in "Where's Waldo?") then automatically texts the photos to the child's parents.
Artificial intelligence, long in the realm of science fiction and dystopian visions of the future, pushes further into our reality every day. Algorithms that Google, Facebook, and many other tech companies run are moving along their asymptotic paths toward approximating the neural firings and pathways that make the human brain so powerful. In doing so, though, they use astounding amounts of data that raise concerns from governments and private citizens about the extent to which privacy rights are compromised. As technology advances exponentially, the world is starting to grapple with the logistic and ethical considerations AI has started to raise. AI as a technological marvel serves both as a response and as a way to capitalize on the explosion of big data in the last twenty years.