1/28/2008

‘100% accurate’ face recognition algorithm announced

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:51 am

Psychology researchers at Glasgow University say they have increased the accuracy of automated face recognition to 100%. If the claims are true, this development will have far-reaching consequences for privacy and security in modern society.

Mike Burton, Professor of Psychology at Glasgow, and lecturer Rob Jenkins say they achieved their hugely-improved results by eliminating the variable effects of age, hairstyle, expression, lighting, different camera equipment etc. This was done by producing a composite “average face” for a person, synthesised from twenty different pictures across a range of ages, lighting and so on.

According to the two researchers:

We modelled human familiarity by using image averaging to derive stable face representations from naturally varying photographs. This simple procedure increased the accuracy of an industry standard face-recognition algorithm from 54 per cent to 100 per cent, bringing the robust performance of a familiar human to an automated system.

The Glaswegian psychologists may be hot stuff at face recognition, but plainly aren’t engineering types - an engineer who said he’d produced a system with 100 per cent reliability would be laughed out of the room. In this case the duo mean that their system got it right every time in their tests, not that they have actually increased its accuracy to 100 per cent.

 

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