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Facebook’s facial recognition software doesn’t even need to see your face anymore

by Brandon Russell | June 22, 2015June 22, 2015 8:00 pm PDT

What's on Jon's Desk-1

Facebook doesn’t even need to see your face in order to identify who you are. Like some supernatural forensics expert, the social network’s technology has apparently become so advanced that it can use other cues—hairdo, body shape, pose, etc.—to identify individuals. That is freaky.

Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, said the company managed to tweak its algorithms to be more human-like than ever. You and I might be able to recognize a person based on certain visual cues, even if their face isn’t visible, so why can’t software?

“There are a lot of cues we use,” LeCun explained. “People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back. For example, you can recognize Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”

Facebook says after culling through 40,000 photos on Flickr—some faces were visible, some faces were not—its technology was 83-percent accurate, which is astounding. The new advancements in recognition is ostensibly for identifying people for apps like Moments, though who knows how Facebook plans to utilize its superhuman technology.

Even if you’re purposely hiding your face, Facebook’s improving algorithms will know who you are, whether your like it or not. Not that you have much anonymity on such a big social network to begin with. But it’s still a little unnerving to know how advanced Facebook’s technology has become.

NewScientist

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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