New Japanese Facial Recognition Software Is Powerful, Scary

    March 23, 2012
    Chris Richardson
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Big brother alert!!! For those of you who don’t like the idea of CCTV monitoring your every move, the details a recent software breakthrough by Hitachi Kokusai Electric will probably make you soil your undergarments, or at least never leave the house without a mask. How does the idea of facial recognition software that can scan 36 million faces in one second sound? How about not only can the software scan that many different faces in such little time, but being able to actively index them as well?

Scared yet?

As pointed out by GeekOSystem.com, the applications for such software are naturally aimed at surveillance programs, ones that monitor a large number of people at a given time. Think sporting events, shopping malls, and public transportation hubs. Leading the article is a video that details the software, and shows the various applications its capable of. Let’s just say recognizing and storing these faces is only the beginning.

Scanned faces can then be searched for in other footage, allowing the watchers to monitor the selected person’s activity, provided there’s additional footage of them available. GeekOSystem’s take on the application of such software is even more revealing:

Once you have a face identified with the system, you can click the thumbnail and receive a wealth of search results, including every other clip the identified individual is in. This allows you to pick out someone sketchy in one scene and immediately see where they were before and after, plus it also allows you to upload a suitable photo and then use the system to see if the person is, or isn’t, in the area. That is, so long as they’ve glanced towards a camera.

This sounds like something the British Government would wholly embrace.

  • http://www.heronbilliards.com.au Michael Heron

    Imagine someone like Stalin having this software (The murderouse Russian leader who killed millions) or Hitler. Could our leaders turn into someone like them given this software.

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      That’s an interesting question!

      Would the presence of a given technology lead to the negative use of that technology or would there have to be some precursor of totalitarianism in place to begin with?

      I shudder to think what might have happened had Hitler, Stalin or any number of other megalomaniacs had such technology, as much for their ‘misuse’ of it as for their most likely use of it.

      It’s that ‘misuse’ that worries me most in our current social/political climate where liberties and rights seem easy to be ignored for what is claimed to be for the ‘greater good’ and applying technology in ways it was never meant and/or used for applications it was never intended.

  • http://cool-stuff-on-the-web.blinkweb.com Pete

    Who are the people who don’t have enough moral fibre to just not work for acompany who makes monstrosities like this. You may think our Government (I’m from UK) would not be evil enough to misuse this (I would disagree if you do think that) but how can oyu be sure in 20 years time we will have a fair and ethical government, it didn’t take long for Hitler to get in power