Did You Get That Thing I Sent You?

Stuff to make your work day just a bit more bearable.

Face Detection & The All-New, All-Marketed World

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Scott McCloud recently linked an entry from James Gurney’s blog (he’s the guy who wrote Dinotopia (which –  holy shit, remember Dinotopia??)) about the power of face recognition technology, which most know as those little boxes over people’s faces that appear on certain digital camera LCD screens.  He spoke thusly:

Popular Mechanics hints at what’s coming: “Sometime soon, face detection may even give way to facial identification, discerning one subject from another. For instance, the camera could retain an image tagged ‘Mom’ in its memory. Later, the camera would automatically recognize each subsequent picture of your mother and add the ‘Mom’ tag to it.”

Facial identification or recognition is a fast-growing technology that uses 3-D scans or interpolates various 2-D scans to assemble a knowledge of basic structure. Wikipedia says that some of the new algorithms are “able to outperform human participants in recognizing faces and can uniquely identify identical twins.”

To wit: if your mug is tagged in Facebook next to a bottle of vodka, expect to gets ads from Grey Goose.  If this isn’t here yet it’s coming very soon.  The ramifications are huge.  We’re in the middle of a sort of Perfect Storm of privacy invasion conditions: brand new ways of culling marketable data on people are appearing everyday, while at the same time the old means of generating ad revenue (newspapers, tv, radio) are become increasingly irrelevant.  Media outlets are desperate to lure advertisers, and advertisers are desperate to ensure demographic accuracy; the tending path of both seems to be towards closer and closer monitoring of all aspects of a consumer’s life.  I should know, I work in marketing.


Written by Peter Kelly

December 15, 2009 at 3:23 am

One Response

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  1. iPhoto ’09 has been doing this for a while. It’s true & oh so scary

    Michael Morgenstern

    December 16, 2009 at 6:15 am

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