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|23rd August 2013, 06:23||#1|
Join Date: May 2010
US to make improvements in facial recognition software
The US federal government is closer to making a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces.
The New York Times has got its paws on reports relating to the Department of Homeland Security's crowd scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System [BOSS].
The system was not fully baked, but researchers say they are making significant advances.
The idea is to have a system that would help match faces in a crowd with names on a watch list. It would allow police to spot suspects at high-profile events like a presidential inaugural parade or find those who have escaped from prison.
So far technical specialists say crowd scanning is still too slow and unreliable, but the NSA is still keen on coming up with a workable plan in time for when computer processing power is strong enough.
BOSS began as an effort to help the military detect potential suicide bombers and other terrorists overseas at "outdoor polling places in Afghanistan and Iraq". But in 2010, the Department of Homeland Security wanted it to be developed for use by the police in the United States.
A recent test of the system, the department recommended against deploying it until more improvements could be made. However at this point it is not clear of when this may be done.
Researchers say they made progress, and independent specialists say it is virtually inevitable that someone will make the broader concept work as camera and computer power continue to improve.
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