Computers

NEC recognition tech can spot people even when their faces are obscured

NEC recognition tech can spot ...
NEC says that accuracy rates of up to 90 percent have been recorded during testing
NEC says that accuracy rates of up to 90 percent have been recorded during testing
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Once a person has been identified, the new NEC tech can spot that person again, even if their face isn't showing
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Once a person has been identified, the new NEC tech can spot that person again, even if their face isn't showing
The NEC system uses artificial intelligence techniques to spot people even when they are partially hidden
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The NEC system uses artificial intelligence techniques to spot people even when they are partially hidden
NEC says that accuracy rates of up to 90 percent have been recorded during testing
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NEC says that accuracy rates of up to 90 percent have been recorded during testing

You might think you're safe from being spotted by a camera if your face is covered or turned away, but the latest developments in AI-powered recognition tech are coming for you. NEC has announced a system that can identify people who are partially obscured, or even facing the other way.

Using a combination of deep learning techniques and analysis of body shape and clothes, the developers behind the system say they've hit accuracy rates of up to 90 percent during testing. It's officially called Person Re-identification Technology.

This use of whole body recognition rather than just the face could be used by security cameras in areas covering crowds, or where there are a lot of visual obstructions. The technology might be helpful in tracking people moving from place to place or room to room, even if their faces aren't always fully visible, NEC says.

The NEC system uses artificial intelligence techniques to spot people even when they are partially hidden
The NEC system uses artificial intelligence techniques to spot people even when they are partially hidden

The system still requires a source image – a picture of the person to look for – but it can then effectively use what glimpses of a person might be visible to find a match. It works from numerous angles with multiple cameras, and even from behind.

This new enhancement builds on top of the video face recognition technologies that NEC is already developing: technologies that can identify faces with a high level of accuracy even when they're moving, not well illuminated, or only in a small part of the video frame.

The company is also working on a Safer Cities initiative designed to help large crowds of people stay safe and minimize congestion – think airport arrival and departure lines, entry at sports stadiums, sensitive government facilities, and so on.

As with any surveillance technology like this, there are privacy implications. While the thought of criminals being apprehended more quickly is a reassuring one, no one likes to feel they're being watched without good reason.

The question of how this technology should be deployed will continue to be debated, but there's no doubt that it's getting smarter all the time.

Source: NEC

5 comments
guzmanchinky
People get all upset about this kind of technology. Not me. I'm a boring law abiding person. But if it catches criminals I'm all for it.
JeffK
Guzmanchinky, the root problem with this type of technology is dependent on who is defining the criminal activity. In the past, it would only be worrisome to the general public in the hands of a despotic regime. In this day and age of polities from villages to states to federal governments banning such things as plastic drinking straws, sugary soft drinks above a certain size, etc., and mandating what types of speech are acceptable in what places, this kind of technology could relegate Orwell's "Big Brother" to minor league status.
Expanded Viewpoint
Yeah, right up to the point where you are overheard saying something that another finds "offensive" and then labels you as "a person of interest" who might be a subversive. Read up on how Stalin had a whole army of snitches embedded in the society that he used to round up MILLIONS of innocent people and had them executed! Hitler did the same thing with his Gestapo, people who were your neighbors would inform on you for the slightest of perceived offenses. Oh, history is such a terrible thing to look at, isn't it? Randy
Fastship
a STASI's wet dream...
Nik
Britain has become one of the most surveillanced countries in the world. In the past, it was required to show a tax disk on the windscreen of your car. No more! All vehicles are video'ed wherever they are used, and automatically checked on central computers for record of their legality, tax, insurance, and annual test, and sent a fine, (Back door tax.) if they dont comply! Same goes for parking, or entry into ''congestion zones'' or other invented ''zones''.......I voted for it with my feet, and emigrated!