We all have joked about having pandemic haircuts and social distancing beards due remote working, closed businesses, etc. However, law enforcement and private businesses have used facial recognition – the software that maps, analyzes and then confirms the identity of a face in a photograph or video – for years for security purposes. Between the masks and change in appearance, this has added to the challenge of using the technology successfully. This interesting information came to us from MIT Technology Review in their article, “The pandemic is testing the limits of face recognition.”

The use of the technology in distributing government aid has also expanded rapidly during the pandemic. States and federal agencies have turned to face recognition as a contactless, automated way of verifying the identity of people applying for unemployment and other public benefits. There is a concern that failures of this technology could prevent people from getting benefits they desperately need.

This technology is one of the most powerful surveillance tools ever made. While many people interact with facial recognition merely as a way to unlock their smart phones or sort their photos, how companies and governments use it has a far greater impact on people’s lives.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the intelligence and the technology behind world-class explainable AI solutions.