Assistive Face Recognition
Interesting comments above.
Facial recognition will without doubt be used more and more as time progresses, lets be clear on one thing; as computing processing power and fast access storage rages forward at a considerable rate of knots, millions of split second comparisons of more facial points than ever will be possible. An unreliable face recognition system mentioned earlier, used in a casino some ten years ago, will have suffered among other things as a result these poor processing ills. Would you be happy to have the displeasure of a using desktop PC of some ten years old in a modern office environment? See my point.
The basis behind CCTV and the Big Brother issues is a huge debate, one that has been ongoing for decades. Strange that all the continued kicking and fighting has not stilled or blocked any progress or limited the utilisation of intrusive technology in these fields. (Albeit the introduction of certain governing guidelines within the Data Protection act) Like it or not, facial recognition is here to stay.
Facial recognition is not at the moment the ‘golden egg’ to end all personal identification issues, let’s leave that to the R and D departments of the technologists.
Where this technology lands at the moment is within areas of use that ‘assist’ existing methods of screening. For example: The possibility of a known shoplifter being on site could be relayed to a CCTV operator who had not noticed the similarity.
It would be up to him to act on an alert. The alert would be advising that within a preset percentage, the potential of this ‘known’ target being on site was far greater than if he went undetected by the human eye on the monitor bank in the control room. I am sure it was never intended as generating instructions to arrest directly detected people on sight, but only to highlight the possibility of a known persons presence.
Site security officers and trained CCTV personnel do this level of screening on a daily basis anyway, peering intently into walls of monitors hoping to get a glimpse of the regular who often steals from stores or takes unsuspecting shoppers purses. Once he has been alerted to this person on site, he will follow him on camera until he further identifies him as ‘unwanted’ or alternatively relays the whereabouts of the suspect to his fellow officers on the shopping floor. Why wouldn’t an electronic assistant be of value in these circumstances? I can think of many other instances outside that of shopping centres where similar benefits could be obtained.
The hotel use is a perfect example of how this technology has uses outside crime detection. It could be used to pre-empt information on a concierge or bank tellers VDU as you approached, as to whether the information tendered is used in a manner that ‘appears natural’ is open to interpretation and indeed the education of the people working and delivering the service. Without a doubt, once the detected person has confirmed his identity at the desk, immediately all booking information, previous stay info etc is all there as communication prompts. Imagine being asked if you enjoyed your previous stay at XYZ hotel and if you would prefer the room service breakfast that you had enjoyed on previous visits. Its complex I agree, but the limits to how it is used falls at the discretion of the person assimilating and utilising the information. Surely its information that’s better to have than not for a customer service point of view.
Lets see what the next five years brings, I have heard rumours it has already been agreed that each hotel in the Dubai will have this type of equipment installed for the registration of visitors and guests as a local requirement, so it will be interesting to watch how or how not it benefits the business.
Its here to stay, like it or loath it !