back to article Dear rioters: Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

Software can take a decent stab at identifying looters, rioters and anyone else who hides their faces with scarves, hats, and glasses, a study has shown. A paper by a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, the National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India, and the Indian Institute of Science, describes …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Thanks for that

    US TV News prog

    and in other news....

    Sales of Donald Trump Masks have soared by 1,000,000%

    Next, Sports

    The Red Sox beat the Yankees 5 to 4 in a Tense game last night. Over to our reporter Dan Carter for an in depth analysis of the game.

    1. solo
      FAIL

      Trump masks

      'He could shoot somebody and he wouldn’t lose any voters'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trump masks

        As an outside observer it's sad to say that he could shoot someone and probably gain some voters!

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: He could shoot somebody and he wouldn’t lose any voters

        If that somebody was himself, I'd vote for him!

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Thanks for that

      Trump mask is okay,provided it's realistic. But they won't be fooled unless you can imitate the tiny hands and todger as well.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thanks for that

      How does the AI work on Guy Fawkes? Thoughts... -->

  2. ee_cc

    As long as the AI can be trained to also identify baton happy cops, I'll be fine with this

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that. Cop protection and anonymity because terrorists, etc. That said, they speak about this dark net, where you can get the extra features easy-peasy...

    2. DNTP

      Unfortunately no footage of the alleged events could be recovered from the bodycams and dashcams of the officers involved due to technical malfunctions. Businesses with security cameras were visited by officers who investigated diligently before concluding that by coincidence all tapes/recordings at that time were missing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So from the pictures

    people with acne or red marker on their faces as per second and third rows will be recognised but the first row of people go free?

    Hmm clear bias against Porsche enthusiasts

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not forgetting...

    ... those new-fangled Cameras systems used at UK border points of entry that can match up your passport with it's low-resolution image with the high-resolution image of the Border system camera and then fed into a National Database for matching against law-abiding trouble makers who attend unorthodox gatherings which are also monitored by Police with Cameras so they can work out who to add to their watch list of non-Right thinking people and exclude them from jury service.

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Not forgetting...

      ...law-abiding trouble makers who attend unorthodox gatherings which are also monitored by Police with Cameras so they can work out who to add to their watch list of non-Right thinking people and exclude them from jury service.

      Wait, you mean I could dodge jury service just by going to a couple of soap-dodger festivals? Is there a renewal period? Why did the Contractors' Guild not tell me this already?

    2. breakfast
      Big Brother

      Re: Not forgetting...

      Do you mean the cameras in the automated passport control queues where you go in and it fails to scan your face three times then a human customs officer lets you through but it's still worth it because it is quicker than the queue for the regular passport?

      Those can't even recognise my face from a photograph of my face. I don't think there's a great risk of them identifying anybody in any kind of disguise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Only people who are willing to serve jury get called up for jury service.

        we will just have to be aware that this technology is available only to the organizations that intend to use it for the good

        Who gets to define what "good" is? Those who aren't (generally).

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    Awww, bless.

    “As to make sure that this doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, we will just have to be aware that this technology is available only to the organizations that intend to use it for the good,”

    He's had a very sheltered life so far, hasn't he?

    P.S. That picture: there's not enough smoke coming off the burning tyres and whoever did the flames needs to find another outlet for their 'creativity'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow up

    And the "good intentioned" government said that the onus to prove innocence is on you.

  7. Disgruntled of TW
    Big Brother

    Only used for good ...

    No evil here then. Kim Jong-un promises to use nuclear technology only for the good of his DPRK state. The inventors do not get to choose.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Stormtrooper Helmets

    Stormtrooper Helmets for all my friends at the bar!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Stormtrooper Helmets

      Is that some sort of a cocktail?

      Maybe it's just a shot of whisky.

      And then you can ask it "Are you a little short for a stormtrooper?"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    first they came for the rioters

    in an app near you...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: first they came for the rioters

      Let's just SHOOT all the rioters, and be done with it. But only when "caught in the act of rioting". They'll be easiest to identify that way.

      (rubber bullets acceptable)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What will Google do

    to its employees identified as rioters by this technology?

    I would guess they would be given recognition awards for promoting Google's HR policies in broader society.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: What will Google do

      Don't you mean that they'd get "promoted"?

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

    Accuracy is not great

    So, er, it can be fooled?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

      I'm not sure it appreciates the emotion of being a fool.

  12. Alex Walsh

    Self contradicts itself in the first line

    Dear rioters: Hiding your face with scarves, hats CAN'T fool this AI system

    ACCURACY IS NOT GREAT – but it's a start for computer-aided crackdowns by cops

    Sounds like it can comfortably fool this AI system to me.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Self contradicts itself in the first line

      The Reg sublimes aren't generally written by the article's author. Instead they are outsourced to someone with kangaroos loose in their top paddock.

  13. David Lewis 2
    Holmes

    ACCURACY IS NOT GREAT

    You are mistaken.

    In the modern policing environment there is no such thing as a "false positive".

    Whoever you are, you ARE guilty of something*!

    * We'll make something up later.

  14. Urh

    Who needs AIs...

    ...when there are basement-dwelling autists who have proven to be far more effective?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet despite all this, I got my passport application rejected because I was wearing my glasses in the photograph

    1. Korev Silver badge
      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        "Probably also unacceptable"

        That's okay, nowadays they have ones where the face itself is clear latex, for aesthetic purposes...

        1. Korev Silver badge

          You forgot the "apparently" ;)

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Go

    Perfect for that "virtual border" the UK is meant to have with the Irish Republic after Brexit

    No check points, no barriers but the system will "know" if you're on the wrong side of the border and haven't been passed.

    Apart from requiring the UKG to roll out a massive IT project (based on V 0.1 technology) across NI in less than a year what could possibly go wrong?

    Proceed with this nonsense at flank speed say I.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Perfect for that "virtual border" the UK is meant to have with the Irish Republic after Brexit

      I guess it will blow its top when 5,000 "Jerry Adams" pass through from Eire to the North in one day.

      No matter, it will be 5 years late and 300% over budget and still not work.

  17. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    It's okay, if the face recogniition fails...

    ....the gait analysis will succeed. It's just a question of which set of cheeks they match.

  18. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "Accuracy is not great"

    Words to build a totalitarian police state upon.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Accuracy is not needed.

      As implied a few comments up, the mission of the police has for years not been "Find the perpetrator", but "find someone we can arrest, preferably not sympathetic or able to pay a lawyer, so we can mark this case successfully closed".

      Yes, I am aware that there are many fine, honest police officers, but it chaps my hide every time I hear the phrase "a few bad apples' used as an excuse, as if the whole sentence didn't continue "will spoil the barrel". As the Wells Fargo case showed, management need not _order_ illegal/unethical behavior. They just need to lay out "proper incentives". Promotion for the team that closes most cases, traffic duty for nit-pickers who insist on solving crimes.

  19. Chozo
    Devil

    Dear Cambridge researchers...

    Feed it just photos of Mimi Choi and see how it performs.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See Icon

    The best disguise is shown in the icon, throw in a dressing gown and WE (it needs numbers to work) are good to go !

  21. ThaumaTechnician

    Do you mean, "That's in Theory"?

    From the article "That's in practice. This thing is still a proof of concept."

    I've downloaded the paper, we'll see what it actually says.

  22. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170901/20023538138/uk-police-test-facial-recognition-tech-carnival-rack-up-35-bogus-hits-one-wrongful-arrest.shtml

    Let's get it working, THEN get fancy. OK?

  23. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    So, how is this different...

    ...from current run-of-the-mill facial recognition then? You pick multiple points to get a "recognition" and if all the expected points aren't there, you look for the best matches to the partial that you stared with. Neither system will work if you don't already have a huge database of faces from various angles to match with though.

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