The European Union has been preparing for related challenges with its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will take effect on May 25 next year. Under the GDPR, images of faces are considered to be “Sensitive Personal Data” that are subject to additional security requirements and restrictions.
A technology war of sorts is now underway, with some research teams creating systems that comply with GDPR while fighting AI facial recognition. For example, the new company D-ID, which stands for De-Identification, offers a system that is said to protect images from unauthorized, automated face recognition.
According to the company’s website, “Images are processed in a groundbreaking way that causes face recognition algorithms to fail to identify the subject in the image, while maintaining enough similar to the original image for humans not to notice the difference.”
These and similar efforts are not stopping the work of Singh and his team, though. While their determinations at present are still considered to be “proof of concept,” they plan to put their system into actual practice as soon as possible.
“We are currently trying to improve the proposed AI model so that it can function in real-time with less computational power and would require smaller memory in the hardware,” he said, adding that he hopes other research teams will also work to develop still stronger systems with expanded datasets. These could include even more disguise possibilities, beyond the hats, scarves, glasses, and faux facial hair ones that are in the existing dataset.
“Overall,” he concluded, “this work will get the ball rolling toward solving the DFI task.”
WATCH: How Exactly Do Our Brains Recognize Faces?