Identifying someone from their face is a no brainer. However, creating a technology that recognizes faces is a challenging task.

Google’s popular Google X laboratory, in 2012 announced an advancement that took the world by storm: after years of efforts and research, their AI models had learned to accurately identify cats on YouTube.

Gradually came a technology that correctly identifies human faces. In today’s blog we’ll learn what facial recognition technology is, how it works and about its benefits and safety.

What is Facial Recognition Technology?

As the name implies, it is a technology that confirms an individual’s identity using their face. It can be called a type of biometric identification.

In this software, the computer analyzes a photo and searches for a particular set of markers within it. If a program finds a similarity  between the sample and example patterns, a match is declared. This technology is similar to how biometric compares the lines in the fingerprint, but far complicated.

How does Facial Recognition System work?  

Face Detection

(detecting and locating human faces in images and videos)

Face Analysis

(The aim is to identify the facial landmarks that are key to distinguishing your face)

Converting the image to data

(transforms a face into data based on the person’s facial features)

Face Match

(verifies if two faces belong to the same person)

Where does Facial Recognition Stand Today?

Facial recognition software is already used by law enforcement, airport and border control, to unlock phones, improve retail experiences, healthcare, banking etc.  In fact, Microsoft has an intuitive middleware solution AI emotion analysis, so just about anyone can work advanced sentiment analysis into their projects.

What are the advantages of facial recognition technology?

  • Enhanced Security – It can help identify burglars, terrorists, thieves and other criminals. For personal use, one can use this technology as a security tool for locking personal devices and for personal surveillance cameras
  • Automation of Identification – Before this technology, security personnels had to perform manual identification, which resulted in wastage of time and lack of accuracy. But with this technology, one can expedite the identification process. The 3D facial recognition technology and use of  infrared cameras improved the level of accuracy.
  • Faster Processing – It typically takes less than a second for the technology to recognize someone’s face. In times when cyber attacks are at peak and hacking tools have advanced, this system grants fast and efficient verification of a person.

What are the threats associated with this technology?

While there are numerous benefits of this system, it has also raised some concerns. Here are a few of the threats.

  • Huge Data storage – ML technology requires a huge amount of data sets to “learn” in order to deliver correct results, which in turns requires large data storage. Storage space can be a problem for a small or mid size company.
  • Privacy Issues – The US government is already known to store some  citizens’ photos without their consent and we don’t know about all cases yet.

Vulnerability – While this technology is accurate, a slight change in the camera angle can lead to an error in recognizing a face.