Your face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool
Your face mask selfies aren’t just getting seen by your friends and family — they’re also getting collected by researchers looking to use them to improve facial recognition algorithms. CNET found thousands of face-masked selfies up for grabs in public data sets, with pictures taken directly from Instagram.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a surge in people wearing face masks, and facial recognition companies are scrambling to keep up. Face masks cover up a significant portion of what facial recognition needs to identify and detect people — essentially threatening the future of a multimillion-dollar industry unless the technology can learn to recognize people beyond the coverings.
The Real World Masked Face Dataset claims to be the largest masked face data set, with more than 5,000 masked faces of 525 people gathered from the internet. The compilation comes from researchers at Wuhan University in China, where the coronavirus outbreak began.
Also social distancing is needed to calibrate the AI that can recognize you by your walk and body type, movements, etc.