Better Facial Recognition Algorithms Through Caricatures

Since 9/11, there's been a renewed interest in facial recognition algorithm to catch terrorists trying to slip into the country but ten years later, the system ain't anywhere close to perfect (yes, even including Facebook's creepy facial recognition system)

Perhaps they're going about it the wrong way, according to Ben Austen of Wired. Rather than taking biometric measurements of the size of a person's nose or eyes, computers would do well to learn from caricaturists instead:

Did you hear the one about the vision scientist who used only caricaturists as his test subjects? He exaggerated his findings! Pawan Sinha, director of MIT’s Sinha Laboratory for Vision Research, and one of the nation’s most innovative computer-vision researchers, knows that caricatures are meant to be humorous, grotesque, and outlandish—he dabbles as a caricaturist himself, drawing occasionally for university publications. But Sinha also contends that these simple, exaggerated drawings can be objectively and systematically studied and that such work will lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of both human and machine-based vision. His lab at MIT is preparing to computationally analyze hundreds of caricatures this year, from dozens of different artists, with the hope of tapping their intuitive knowledge of what is and isn’t crucial for recognition. He has named this endeavor the Hirschfeld Project, after the famous New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

Quite simply, the Hirschfeld Project would reverse-engineer the caricaturist’s art. By analyzing sketches, Sinha hopes to pinpoint the recurring exaggerations in the caricatures that most strongly correlate to observable deviations in the original faces. The results, he believes, will ultimately produce a rank-ordered list of the 20 or so facial attributes that are most important for recognition: “It’s a recipe for how to encode the face,” he says. In preliminary tests, the lab has already isolated what seem to be important ingredients—for example, the ratio of the height of the forehead to the distance between the top of the nose and the mouth.


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Okay... I would debate your last statement about Hume being out-dated, but you do make that difficult by abandoning the discussion. I guess I'm just supposed to swallow your authority and obey your directives?
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Hume? Smart guy, good ideas for the time he lived, but 200 years outdated. Even Hume acknowledged the weakness of his ideas on empirical epistemology.

I'm getting bored, so I'm afraid I won't be reading your next post. Feel free to refer to another obsolete philosophy if you like.
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I don't really feel special sharing it. But not everybody is a "superior-brained AI" and some people need to be exposed to things before they can absorb them. Kind of like theories of learning and memory in which it is generally held that NOTHING we think is original, but all of it is learned from prior experiences. David Hume's Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding comes to mind.

"We are apt to imagine that we could discover these effects by the mere operation of our reason, without experience. We fancy, that were we brought on a sudden into this world, we could at first have inferred that one Billiard-ball would communicate motion to another upon impulse; and that we needed not to have waited for the event, in order to pronounce with certainty concerning it. Such is the influence of custom, that, where it is strongest, it not only covers our natural ignorance, but even conceals itself, and seems not to take place, merely because it is found in the highest degree." - David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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I had to hear it. But if a superior-brained AI came along and said "duh, it's simple" about some linguistic concept I felt special sharing, I guess I would feel bad too.

Sorry if I made you feel bad.
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