Facial recognition technologies are the potential wet dream of government agencies, marketing people and perverts. The ability to find information about random strangers is a powerful tool with multiple applications, all of which traverse in a very gray area.
Up until now, not a lot of companies had success with building applications that could find people through facial recognition. But now that has changed, with the development and launch of FindFace, a Russian app which lets you take pictures of anyone and find them online with amazing accuracy.
Once you upload the pictures, the app searches for the person they belong to. Once it’s done, it showcases all the different social media accounts linked to that person, along with the 10 closest matches.
Created by Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, this app gained fame when it showcased 73.3% accuracy in facial recognition, beating 100 other facial recognition algorithms at the MegaFace Challenge organized by the University Of Washington.
Among the losers was Google itself, making the win that much more impressive. Adding even more credibility to the service are it’s 500,000 users in Russia alone, where the app was launched just a few months ago.
These users have made over 3 million searches in the time the app has been active, which amounts to hundreds of trillions of comparisons done between nearly a billion photos posted on the popular Russian social network, Vkontakte.
The important thing to note is that the complexity of the algorithm let it all this could be done using simple computers and servers, thus saving a lot of money on the backend infrastructure.
With such a great proof of concept, it goes without saying that this app will eventually find it’s way to other social media platforms worldwide, thus creating a new dimension in social media interactions.
The applications for security, targeted marketing and dating are extensive with such a strong software. We just hope that along with the power they wield, the developers will also consider their responsibility for placing certain safeguards to prevent harassment that can and will happen when this goes worldwide.