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Facial Recognition August 23, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Really interesting article recently in The New Yorker about Facial Reconition and how Facial Recognition ability it is now measurable, the problems of having high or low levels of Facial Recognition and how Police in the UK have a squad of ‘super-recognizers’

Most police precincts have an officer or two with a knack for recalling faces, but the Met (as the Metropolitan Police Service is known) is the first department in the world to create a specialized unit. The team is called the super-recognizers, and each member has taken a battery of tests, administered by scientists, to establish this uncanny credential. Glancing at a pixelated face in a low-resolution screen grab, super-recognizers can identify a crook with whom they had a chance encounter years earlier, or whom they recognize from a mug shot.

There is an online version of one of the Facial Recognition tests here


1. makedoanmend - August 23, 2016

Oh dear.

Like we know so much about the human brain, memory, etc. that we can now rely on the evidence of a robo-expert to recall that ‘Johnny the Tea-Leaf’ was at the corner of Elm and Maple on January 21st 201xx @ 3:13 am. Being there, and being recognised by the testimony of a pictorial robo-expert, must mean that Johnny stole the pram @ 111 Elm st. Send him down.

I also like the “…adminstered by scientists…” line. OK then, ‘because science, this must be legitimate and justified as a methodology.

I would have thought a very long term study using statiscial techniques and the null hypothesis without actually convicting anyone would be necessary to even to begin to verify the bona fides of such a policing policy.

Does memory degrade over time, with age, with circumstance? Has human bais, especially when one’s reputation and income is on the line, changed during the last week?

Is this just another modern meme that we are a technology advanced species that can now be relied upon to perform computer and robot like functions that previous generation could only dream about? We become the technology rather than using technology to enhance all our lives?

I just see a future of abusing the so-called technique to fill up privatised jails.

But, then again, I’ve become hyper-cynical of the whole singularity meme that seems to tie into the meritocracy meme that seems to tie into the entire neo-liberal ideological narrative of the end of history as being a tech-free-market-self-regulating, etc. etc. etc


2. RosencrantzisDead - August 23, 2016

The article is clearly excited about the notion of ‘super-recognisers’. It does have a heroic air to it. Someone out there, even you (yes, you) could have this incredible ability that you were not aware of until one day when you are whisked off to be part of a team of super-special individuals.

Yet the numbers are weak, as much as DCI Neville may argue to the contrary. Take the London riots: 200 000 hours of CCTV footage yields 190 identifications. That’s ~1063 hours of work per suspect identified. Factor in a 1-in-8 failure rate to that and it becomes rather underwhelming. I feel peculiar; I think I am agreeing with the Met upper-management.


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