The British government is convening a team of researchers from across the country to work on a project seeking to advance facial recognition technology.
It’s a £6 million, five-year endeavor, with the Home Office having invited a range of researchers, including psychologists from the University of Stirling. Speaking to the BBC, the leader of that team, Prof. Peter Hancock, explained that their aim is to better understand the cognitive processes that make humans so good at recognizing familiar faces.
Turning to the technology’s utility, Prof. Hancock mentioned potential commercial applications such as enabling bank ATMs to automatically identify customers, but he asserted that the “prime driver” behind the project is to develop security applications. That’s no surprise, given that the project has been organized by the Home Office, which is in the habit of awarding major contracts for identification solutions with security applications, and has recently sought more power in getting the fingerprint biometrics of illegal immigrants to the EU. More broadly, despite some controversy surrounding their biometric identification practices, police in the UK have found facial recognition highly useful in their investigative efforts.
Source: BBC News
November 20, 2015 – by Alex Perala