In questo lungo articolo sul New York Times si racconta di come una piccola startup americana, la Clearview AI, abbia creato e fornito alle forze dell’ordine statali e federali, un programma di riconoscimento facciale in grado di fornire le generalità di un individuo qualsiasi ripreso da una telecamera o smartphone. Tutto ciò perfezionando algoritmi già noti e soprattutto grazie ad un database di 3 miliardi di foto ricavate illegamente da milioni di utenti di Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.
Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.Federal and state law enforcement officers said that while they had only limited knowledge of how Clearview works and who is behind it, they had used its app to help solve shoplifting, identity theft, credit card fraud, murder and child sexual exploitation cases.[…]Mr. Ton-That wanted to go way beyond that. He began in 2016 by recruiting a couple of engineers. One helped design a program that can automatically collect images of people’s faces from across the internet, such as employment sites, news sites, educational sites, and social networks including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and even Venmo.
Come funziona il programma:
[…]Another engineer was hired to perfect a facial recognition algorithm that was derived from academic papers. The result: a system that uses what Mr. Ton-That described as a “state-of-the-art neural net” to convert all the images into mathematical formulas, or vectors, based on facial geometry — like how far apart a person’s eyes are. Clearview created a vast directory that clustered all the photos with similar vectors into “neighborhoods.” When a user uploads a photo of a face into Clearview’s system, it converts the face into a vector and then shows all the scraped photos stored in that vector’s neighborhood — along with the links to the sites from which those images came.
Immagine da pixabay.