Five Reasons Facial Recognition Is Far From Creepy

22nd August 2019

Electricity, cellphones and the internal combustion engine are just three modern day inventions that have not gone down well with the general public at some point.

At least some Victorians believed electric lighting to be inherently dangerous to the human body and no mobile phone user can deny pondering the cellphone cancer link.

Now, Millennials and others are raising concerns about Facial Recognition technology. 

Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, Facial Recognition combined with CCTV has the potential to slash weapons-related crime, make public places feel safer and even boost workplace satisfaction by flagging employees in need of positive interventions.

“Facial recognition has the potential to be a knight in shining armor, rescuing the situation anytime the human face belies criminal or antisocial behaviour,” suggests Laurence Seberini, co-founder of South African Facial Recognition start-up, Camatica.

Privacy advocates, however, have been quoted as saying the technology is ‘creepy’. “If we were all still living in sleepy villages where the only regular excitement came in the form of an out-of-control bovine, Facial Recognition might be somewhat out of place. 

“Sadly, the human race itself often seems out-of-control. Facial Recognition is a fantastic tool to protect life and property and to generally safeguard a vulnerable public in challenging times,” Mr Seberini added.

Mr Seberini presents five reasons why Facial Recognition technology in public places will eventually be fully-accepted by the vast majority of us:

Our faces are already being analysed. Travelers and shoppers are already being scanned for their safety by state-of-the-art optics at airports, retail stores and other public places where citizens’ safety could be compromised by repeat troublemakers.

In many environments, Facial Recognition is simply automating what is already being done by security officers. Human guards look out for suspicious behaviour so what difference does it make if AI is added to the protection mix?

No-one has to guess when Camera-centred AI is in use. Simple signage similar to that already being used for CCTV can be easily displayed so people know when they’re being scanned.

Given the choice, law-abiding citizens will usually accept a little more intrusion for a lot more public safety. This is especially true given rising crime rates worldwide.

Finally, used responsibly by HR professionals in a work setting, facial recognition systems can more rapidly pick up instances where intervention is needed to help an employee overcome personal challenges that may be affecting work attendance.


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