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Facial recognition technology uses advanced software, often operated by artificial intelligence (AI) in its increasingly sophisticated methods, to identify faces of people using cameras.
The technology has come a long way in recent years and all indications point to the continued development of this technology until it becomes ubiquitous and foolproof.
How Does Facial Recognition Work?
The starting point for facial recognition is a database of faces for a computer system to comb through to compare an image against its records.
These are usually in the forms of headshots like the ones commonly taken for passports, driver’s licenses, or other identification purposes.
Governments typically have access to large caches of these pictures to establish their database.
The computer system then measures the proportional angles of the subject’s face, which are unique to each person, and then uses this mathematical formula to locate a match in the database.
This method is increasingly accurate and quick, allowing real-time review of identities.
Concerns about Facial Recognition
Many privacy and personal liberty advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have expressed their concern about the use of facial recognition on a large scale and all of its potential abuses.
While most people agree that facial recognition could be a valuable tool for law enforcement in preventing crime and terrorism, the real worry is that at some point the technology will be used to track the whereabouts of innocent, law-abiding citizens.
Uses for Facial Recognition Technology
So far, facial recognition is a relatively new technology that is mostly used by law enforcement.
Examples of the uses of facial recognition include finding missing people (especially children), preventing human trafficking, thwarting terrorism, and aiding criminal investigations.
However, there are many applications being developed outside of law enforcement. In healthcare, for example, facial recognition is already being used to monitor a patient’s use of medication, to identify genetic diseases before a provider can notice their development, and more.
The marketing uses for facial recognition are nearly endless. Many retailers have already added facial recognition technology to their stores which they use to track and record customer behavior.
With this information, they can design more effective marketing strategies and better floor layout for their stores.
These are just a few of the exciting (and sometimes terrifying) prospects for the future of facial recognition.