Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Disrupting Face Recognition Technology

Face recognition systems are getting very good at spotting a face in a crowd, whether using cameras in public places or software scanning millions of images posted to social media.

Facebook's DeepFace system, for example, uses a neural-net based machine learning approach to identify any person with 97 percent accuracy.

Faces identified in red. Green square indicates no face detected. Via CVDazzle
Ordinary disguises, such as hats, wigs, mustaches, and glasses may fool human observers, but they don't trick these machine systems. However, face recognition systems only work when they see something that looks like a face.

In a new confluence of couture fashion and privacy activism, a group of hackers is adopting the methods of dazzle camouflage to disrupt face-detection technology.

Contrasting patterns of light and dark cross the contours of the face and overlap the features, making it hard to recognize the shape of the head, and interfering with the edges of the facial features. 

Note to concept artists: these styles would fit well into a futuristic cyberpunk world.

Random patterns are painted onto the face. Hair is alternately curly and straight. 

Whether these fashions are accepted or ultimately banned in public places is anyone's guess, since authorities will argue that terrorists can use them too. 

Such methods may only be effective temporarily, since machine learning systems are now being applied to individual movements, such as gesture and gait recognition, with comparable levels of accuracy.

Yet such advances in technology—and countermeasures to that technology—call into question our basic human assumptions about the expectation of privacy and anonymity in public places.
Read more: Camouflage from Face Recognition Technology
Scientific papers on deep learning systems for movement recognition
Previous post: Dazzle Camouflage
Wikipedia on Facebook's DeepFace system


A Colonel of Truth said...

Moral of the story: Things (faces) are not always what meet the (computer's) "eye." At least for the time being. When Marines apply camoflague face paint, protruding areas are painted dark and recessed areas light so to flatten disrupting recognition.

Kessie said...

What's funny is, humans still recognize these faces. It's a cool Netrunner cyberpunk style.

Unknown said...

These hair styles fit right into many futuristic sci fi novels that I have read. And what's amazing is that its as if the authors were strangely prophetic. When they wrote the stories they had no idea that these styles would be used as an evasion tactic to fool computers. Yet, this fits into the "backstory" of these sorts of stories perfectly!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

My husband has a long white beard (think Santa Claus)... Facebook does not recognize his face, so I can't tag him in photos, my camera also will not put a box around his face. Even the smile recognize camera's don't see his teeth when he smiles... so to 'trick' the software, grow a beard.

The Sous Hoose said...

This is SUCH an interesting development - the styles really spark the imagination. Thanks for sharing!!

Video Analytics said...

This is an fantastic article of face recognition. Its the proof that technology is improving day by day. Thanks for write such a great article.