Facebook has declared that it has developed a new technology that can recognize people in photos even if the picture is blurred or obstructed. It is an experimental algorithm carried out at Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab.
The technology is dubbed PIPER, an acronym for ‘pose invariant person recognition’. takes into account, unique characteristics like hairdo, clothing, body shape and pose.
“We can easily picture Charlie Chaplin’s moustache, hat and cane or Oprah Winfrey’s curly volume hair,” Facebook said in a paper presented earlier this month. “Yet, examples like these are beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced face recognizers.”
The research team pulled almost 40,000 public photos from Flickr – some of people with their full face clearly visible, and others where they were turned away – and ran them through a sophisticated neural network.
The final algorithm was able to recognise individual people’s identities with 83% accuracy. It was presented earlier this month at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Boston, Massachusetts, reports the WSJ Blog.
Although this feature sounds fun, the ability to identify someone even when they are not looking at the camera raises some serious privacy questions.