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Land of a billion faces

technologyreview.com

Clearview AI has built one of the most comprehensive databases of people’s faces in the world.

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Basically it is a search engine for faces. So you upload a photo of a face and it finds publicly available links that are online. And right now it's used for law enforcement to solve crimes after the fact. So an officer, if they're stuck on a case and they have something from video footage, they ...

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A false positive in a live setting is more of an issue than it is in an after the fact setting. Because if you're getting an alert and you're running down to find the person, you have maybe a lot less time to see if it's correct. Whereas if you're behind a desk doing an investigation, you have al...

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So a neural network is a newer form of artificial intelligence where instead of hard coding factors like the distance between your eyes or the distance between the eyes and the nose, it just learns from a ton of different examples. And what we do is we collect like a thousand examples of George C...

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Something everyone we spoke to for this series agreed on is that these systems work best when the lighting is good and cameras are placed at face height. 

But with security cameras, that’s rare. There’s also the challenge of scale.

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We're still not even 1% of what's out there when you run the numbers, it's kind of crazy how much information is out there. So when it comes to privacy, we kind of have to look at ourselves and say, well, we are voluntarily sharing a lot of this information. Google has your location on Android al...

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So already in a lot of law enforcement agencies that use facial recognition, they have a procedure saying you cannot just arrest someone based on a facial recognition match. You still have to do follow up research. So there's always a human in the loop that checks is this person, the right person...

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But what about folks who are falsely accused? 

Ton-That would argue that’s a human failing. In the same way we’re still responsible for how we drive while using GPS—when the navigation says “turn right” and it’s not safe to do so—it’s up to us and our human brains to ignore it.

A...

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He says the company did its own audit, assembling an independent review board that took a similar approach to when the ACLU tested Amazon’s facial recognition system by running photos of the US Congress past a mugshot database—which are photos of people who’ve been arrested for a crime.

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