Facial recognition service FindFace, powered by Ntechlab, announced Thursday that the program has integrated with Twitter. Users can snap a photo with their smartphone camera and upload it to FindFace, which is often described as “Shazam for people.” The app will scan Twitter’s database of 313 million active users (according to Twitter’s “About Us” page) and find a match, if it exists, in less than a second.
This will help Twitter users protect their identities, find long-lost friends and relatives, and identify new potential connections, expanding the positive applications of Ntechlab’s award-winning facial recognition technology. Built on deep learning and a neural network-based architecture, FindFace has already been used to solve cold cases and identify criminals.
Founded in 2015 by Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, Ntechlab is a face recognition company specialized in machine learning and neural networks, including the training of facial recognition algorithms. The company is focused on applying deep learning technology to solve challenges relevant to several industries ranging customs to security and law enforcement authorities. For more information, you can learn about Ntechlab here.
Ntechlab co-founder Alexander Kabakov explained that the program’s integration with Twitter unlocks several possibilities for Twitter users.
“FindFace will help Twitter users ensure their photos aren’t being used for fake accounts. On top of that, users can find people they knew previously, from old relatives to old relationships. When an exact match isn’t found, FindFace will identify the most similar matches instead.”
Authentication on Twitter is especially important, as NBC News reports that 1 in 10 Twitter accounts are fake. This integration builds on FindFace’s work with VKontakte, or VK, a Russian social media platform similar to Facebook. Before the Twitter integration, FindFace had already attracted more than 1 million users in less than a year.
“We are excited to offer FindFace’s service to an even wider audience, especially for free. Many businesses are already enjoying the powerful facial recognition software. Twitter’s sizeable database represents a sizeable step in the adoption of facial recognition software for everyday use.”
Facial recognition is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. Experts expect it to double to $6.2 billion a year by 2020. Ntechlab became a leader in the nascent industry when it won the 2015 MegaFace Championship at Washington State. The company’s facial recognition technology achieved a 73 percent accuracy with a database of 1 million pictures, beating Google and many other competitors.
Not everyone is convinced that integrating facial recognition software with social media is necessarily a good thing. Russian photographer Egor Tsvetkov, according to Buzzfeed, tooled around the St. Petersburg subway earlier this year, taking photos of random strangers. Then, using facial recognition software combined with VK, he matched faces with VK users with 70 percent accuracy.
“You could say our technology really broke private life… But really, it is a big question for us, this privacy question.”
Similarly, a short time later, Russian 4chan users used FindFace and VK to find the profiles of Russian porn stars and then harass them.
Similarly, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also concerned about facial recognition technology gaining ground in private and public life.
“Unlike many other biometric systems, facial recognition can be used for general surveillance in combination with public video cameras, and it can be used in a passive way that doesn’t require the knowledge, consent, or participation of the subject. The biggest danger is that this technology will be used for general, suspicionless surveillance systems.”
Are you concerned about facial recognition software like FindFace being combined with social media platforms like Twitter?
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