Facebook’s AI tool can spot your face in photos even if it is hidden

Facebook's tool is an algorithm than can recognise a person through their unique characteristics such as hairdo, clothing, etc

By: Press Trust of India | London | Updated: June 24, 2015 12:11 pm
Facebook, Facebook Face recognition tool, Facebook Artificial Intelligence, Facebook AI tool, Facebook Face recognition tool new, Facebook new face recognition tool, Facebook new tool, Facebook AI, Facebook Inc., Social Media, Facebook news, Technology, technology news Facebook’s new AI tool can recognise faces in photos even if hidden. (Source: Facebook)

An experimental algorithm developed by Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab can recognise people in photographs even when their faces are hidden.

The algorithm will recognise a person through their unique characteristics such as hairdo, clothing, body shape and pose. Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, wanted to see if modern face-recognition algorithms could be adapted to recognise people in situations where someone’s face is not clear, something humans can already do quite well.

The research team pulled almost 40,000 public photos from Flickr – some of people with their full face clearly visible, and others where they were turned away – and ran them through a sophisticated neural network.

The final algorithm was able to recognise individual people’s identities with 83 per cent accuracy, ‘New Scientist’ reported.

LeCun said such a tool would be useful for people who are privacy-conscious as it could alert them whenever a photo of themselves, however obscured, pops up on the internet.

However, the ability to identify someone even when they are not looking at the camera raises some serious privacy
implications.

“If, even when you hide your face, you can be successfully linked to your identify, that will certainly concern people,” said Ralph Gross at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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