Wild Friday: Facial Recognition is the New Norm

Blocking your face with your hand or hair won’t keep you from being tagged in a Facebook post. The company’s artificial intelligence lab cooked up an experimental algorithm that can recognize faces even when they’re obscured.

“There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of artificial intelligence told New Scientist. “For example, you can recognize Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”

Facebook introduced its AI research project earlier this month. The team analyzed nearly 40,000 public Flickr photos with people’s faces in full and partial view using its algorithm that accurately connects photos to their likenesses 83 percent of the time.

Facial or pattern recognition software is everywhere: The technology has become so popular that some churches are using it to keep track of attendance. It’s used to find lost pets and a go-to tool for law enforcement agencies. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection tested it on thousands of unsuspecting travelers in Dulles International Airport.

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