NEWS

Facebook’s new algorithm can recognize you even if your face is hidden


Fortune

We are just beginning to come to grips with the idea that computers and algorithms can recognize our faces, and the implications that has for privacy. Now the head of Facebook’s artificial-intelligence research lab says that an experimental algorithm he helped develop for the giant social network can recognize you with a high degree of accuracy even if your face is hidden from the camera.

Yann LeCun, an expert in computer vision and pattern recognition who was hired by Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] in 2013, presented his research at a recent conference in Boston. He told New Scientist magazine that he wanted to see whether the same kinds of algorithms used for facial recognition could be tweaked to recognize people from other physical characteristics—their body type, the way they stand, etc.

“There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from…

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