Two more animal shelters have begun using Finding Rover to register pets at their facilities in efforts to reunite them with their owners using facial recognition technology.
Shelters in Lewiston, Maine, and Plano, Texas, have started registering every animal that comes through their doors with the app by taking photographs of the animals’ faces and uploading them to Finding Rover. Users of the app upload a picture of their missing pet, register it and add their contact information. They then receive a notification if Finding Rover recognizes a match at a participating shelter.
“The rates for cats being reunited with their families is really abysmal, less than 5 percent is typical and that’s really sad, and we want to do anything we can to boost that rate,” Katie Lisnik of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston said, speaking to a local news outlet. “If I just look at eight black cats, they all look a little bit the same, but their facial recognition software has a 98 percent accuracy rate, and it can differentiate between just the varying facial features, how big the eyes are, how far apart the ears are,” she added.
The use of facial recognition technology on humans is becoming an increasingly controversial topic, with class action lawsuits being filed in the state of Illinois recently against its use by casinos and retailers. Using it to find a missing pet however, is unlikely to raise the ire of privacy rights groups.
“Dogs and cats are beloved family members, and if he or she goes missing, it can be devastating to everyone involved,” said Finding Rover CEO John Polimeno. “We want to do everything we can to safeguard our pets from being lost forever.”
October 24, 2019 – By Tony Bitzionis