Facebook Facial Recognition Software Has Almost Human Accuracy

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
03/28/2014
       
Facebook Facial Recognition Software Has Almost Human Accuracy

Facebook may soon possess the power to match faces to users with almost human-like accuracy.

According to the social-media giant, sophisticated facial recognition software is currently being tested that would employ 3D face modeling to render with a 97.25 percent success rate what it calls “Labeled Faces in the Wild”; in other words — you.

Using a “nine-layer deep neural network,” the software known as DeepFace uses “more than 120 million parameters” to recreate the user’s face and then scans millions of photos to match the face to the person.

A Forbes article on a story published in the MIT TechnologyReview.com, reports, "DeepFace uses a 3D model for rotating faces virtually so that the person in the photo appears to be looking at the camera. The angle of the face is corrected by using a 3D model of an 'average' forward-looking face."

Forbes adds, “The DeepFace algorithms have also been successfully tested for facial verification within YouTube videos” and that the technology could “improve Facebook’s ability to suggest users for tagging in an uploaded photo and for other potential purposes.”

Although this program is still being tested (Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Group will present their findings at a conference in June), the prospects of these “other potential purposes” should frighten the 1.3 billion active monthly users of the site.

Particularly as Facebook isn’t known for more than token resistance to cooperating with the federal government’s quest to put everyone under the National Security Agency’s never-blinking eye.

According to a statement posted on the company’s website last June, government agencies — including federal, state, and local authorities — requested user data on between 18,000 and 19,000 account holders.

Following the negotiations in 2013 that opened the way for Facebook to report its cooperation with requests to hand over user information, Microsoft made a similar surveillance disclosure. A blog post on the Redmond, Washington-based company’s website declared:

For the six months ended December 31, 2012, Microsoft received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal).

Altogether, that means the accounts of approximately 50,000 Americans — accounts they believed were secure — were laid open to the eyes of government agents.

These revelations may be nothing more than cover fire to distract users from the collusion of these corporations with the NSA as disclosed by NSA whistleblower and former NSA subcontractor, Edward Snowden.

Under the PRISM data-gathering program, the NSA and the FBI are “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time,” as reported by the Washington Post.

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