Feb 24, 2013

Facial Recognition Software

D'hab and Yandrey
A current feature of Blogger blogs is that Google automatically takes all the images that are uploaded and organizes them in a Google+ album. The image to the right on this page shows Google's facial recognition results for some images in the album for the blog where I am posting the story Exode. The facial recognition software makes mistakes. For example, as shown above, it identified images of Yandrey and D'hab as being two pictures of the same person.

Jodie, Majel
Sherry, Ario
I have about 800 images in the album for this blog and among all those uploaded images are hundreds of people available to be tagged with their identity. It is particularly amusing to enter into the image album the name of a fictional character for a computer-generated image and watch Google suggest possible matches between that fictional character and existing Google+ user accounts. Two of the facial recognition mismatches from the image album for this blog are shown here (images to the left and right of this paragraph).

Sherry Jackson (left), Ted Cassidy, Ario (right)
The images of Jodie Foster and Majel Barrett are both in profile so maybe the software is at a particular disadvantage, but this seems like an amusing mismatch. The other example of mismatched people are Sherry Jackson and Ario.

Vozgrow, lower left
It was interesting to see that even the freakish Vozgrow (image to the left) was recognized by Google's facial recognition system. I had agonized over just how much to distort the normal human features of Vozgrow into something alien.

Mathew McConaughey (left) , Jodie Foster, Susan Oliver, Jeffrey Hunter, Majel Barrett (right)
I've been thinking about the means by which the Overseers in Exode might be able to detect the presence of Interventionist agents on Earth. In previous stories set in the Exodemic Fictional Universe I've imagined that there is constant Observation of Earth. Possibly the Observers have the means to watch the people of Earth and constantly be running some type of facial recognition check. This might explain why the Buld and the Fru'wu do not consider Gwyned to be a good candidate for return to Earth as an Interventionist agent (disused here): it would be too easy for the Overseers to recognize that Gwyned had returned after years of having been missing from Earth. Could the Observers have a constantly updated image database that would allow for recognition of "missing persons" on Earth?

While I've been using computer-rendered images to represent a few of the characters in Exode, I've simply been using images taken from Google's image search to represent most of the characters. Typically I take some image for a fashion model and Photoshop it into a scene (example for Gwyned). I can then put such images back into Google's image search. Sometimes the results that Google returns as "visually similar" are amusing.
"visually similar" to Gwyned
One of the options you can select in the "visually similar" image search is "face":

Left: target image ("Gwyned"). Four "visually similar" faces found by Google image search.
Below are the top results returned as visually similar images for "Gwyned":
PicTriev attempts to match images to celebrities. Below are the results from PicTriev obtained using an image for the model who I used to represent the Buld named Leymaygn. PicTriev generates an age estimate (in this case, 24 years). The top match (Carman Lee) is 40 years old.
In the PicTriev test shown above, a picture of an older Shania Twain was matched (29% ?) to a picture in their database that was taken of her at a younger age. Strangely, Shakira was matched at 27%.

For Exode, I'm imagining that the Observers constantly monitor the developing human culture on Earth. They are particularly interested in progress by Earthlings towards scientific and technological advances, but they also carefully monitor the languages of Earth and send that information to the planets of the galactic core where humans live (such as Hemmal).

If Gwyned was in the Observer database when she left Earth in 1964 (at the age of 25) and then she tried to return in 1971 (that is the year when Parthney was sent to Earth) then the Overseers would have been able to use their facial recognition system to help track her down. Definitive identification would be possible by DNA sequence matching.

The Overseers also watch for changes in the nanites that are inside humans. Gwyned's mother is a time traveler from Earth's far future (discussed here) who brings unusual nanites to 20th century Earth. While Gwyned lives on Earth those unusual nanites are in her body rather than the the typical nanites of pek design. When Gwyned lives at Lendhalen, all of the nanites have been removed from her body. Her major source of reluctance for returning to Earth might arise from the fact that she would be in danger of having her brain infected by pek nanites if she went back to Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment