Facial recognition: it’s the math, stupid!

From one perspective, facial recognition is a purely computational exercise – a complex process of object scanning, data correlation and applying machine learning techniques to recognise and learn from patterns in digital image data streams. The human face is just of hundreds of different ‘objects’ that might be scanned and processed by a smart-camera – all instantaneously... Continue Reading →

Facial recognition as a point of national pride

One of the surprising side-shows at many recent high-profile international events is what might be described as ‘facial recognition nationalism’ - where host countries are keen to be show off their thriving local facial recognition industry. The French firm Id3’s recent involvement in the development of FRT for the Paris 2024 Olympics illustrates the significance of these... Continue Reading →

In-car facial recognition – luxury surveillance?

Recent reports that car production during 2021 and 2022 will have to decrease substantially due to the global shortage of silicon chips highlights the fact that our cars are now computational devices – realising Elon Musk’s 2015 description of Tesla being in the business of manufacturing “sophisticated computers on wheels”. While the dream of the ‘fully... Continue Reading →

Facial recognition in 2025 – expert expectations

Pew Research released a report in February 2021 in which they canvas the views of various tech experts and futurists about their anticipations of the post-COVID shifts in technology and society for 2025. Facial recognition and other biometrics and AI featured prominently in these accounts – positioning FRT as one of a suite of inferential and surveillance... Continue Reading →

Face Recognition to Verify Vaccine Status?

Facial solutionism has, predictably, reared its head in the vexed discussion of vaccine passports. A government funded program in the UK is developing software that pubs, cafes, and other venues can use to scan patron's faces as a condition of entry to determine whether they have been vaccinated. Such an approach would protect against the... Continue Reading →

paper accepted for AOIR 2021

We are very pleased to have a paper accepted for the 2021 AOIR conference in October. The paper arises from our ongoing ethnographic work about FRT and biometrics industry trade shows and is titled: "‘Ethical biometrics’ and the face of the child: the surveillance of children within facial recognition industry discourse". In this paper we... Continue Reading →

Facial recognition and the Chinese other

Western perceptions of digital innovation have long remained in thrall to East-Asia. Just as Japan was seen as the world-leading innovator in micro-electronics and computers during the 1980s, China is now widely considered to be leading the development of artificial intelligence. Western news media, policy and public opinion perpetuate a sense that “China Is Dominating Artificial... Continue Reading →

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