Memo From Five Years From Now: Anti-Facial Recognition Makeup

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Now that facial recognition software is being implemented in more and more security systems worldwide, in such places as airport security lines, law enforcement agencies, and the Superbowl, it’s obviously time for the average forward thinking person to consider when and where this technology will be used to create an Orwellian police state.

Or, when it will inevitably be used to target advertising, keep tabs on consumers, and otherwise just be really annoying.  Graduate student Adam Harvey has devoted his master’s thesis to finding ways to trick facial recognition into false negatives as stylishly as possible, using makeup and hair.

Says The Register:

“There’s a lot of trial and error,” Harvey said. “The common thread is throwing off the symmetry” the algorithm looks for. “It’s a lot more difficult than applying a bunch of makeup and hoping it works or putting on your 3D glasses left over from Avatar…”

…the point of his project from the beginning has been to create disguises that do more than simply hide a person’s face.

“The combination of hair, makeup and accessories gives you the potential to do an infinite number of creative new looks that have some futuristic value to them with anti-face-detection functionality,” he said. “Maybe you could go to a privacy hair stylist in the future.”

I think I speak for the entire cyber-punk fandom when I say BRING IT ON.  I can’t wait for the day when tech savvy, hip young things walk around like it’s Blade Runner or Transmetropolitan.

Some of Harvey’s working designs are pictured at the top of this article.

(via /.)


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