Face Recognition Q&A

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New York University School of Law Professor Barry Friedman and Moji Solgi, VP of AI and Machine Learning at Axon Enterprise, present a Q&A conversation between face recognition policy analyst and a technologist. Few quotes:

Q: How accurate is FR? We’ve heard differing accounts of the state of the technology — some experts say it’s nowhere near ready for field deployment, and yet we hear stories both internationally and locally about FR being used in a variety of ways.

Short answer: We are getting closer every year, but we need at least two orders of magnitude reduction in error rates to make the technology feasible for real-time applications with uncooperative subjects such as in body-worn cameras.

Q: When companies say that their product should be set to only provide a match at a “99%” accuracy level, what does that mean?

Short answer: Such metrics are meant as marketing tools and are meaningless for all practical purposes.

Q: How do FR systems compare with human face recognition? In other words, can computers do a better job than human in recognizing faces?

Short answer: They are far behind for most cases, but many misguiding headlines (the oldest that we could find was from 2006) have claimed FR has surpassed human-level performance.

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