A controversial AI can allegedly reveal your personality from just a photo

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

A system that can tell a persons personality from a photo can be used to help approve loans, provide better healthcare, and create smarter surveillance solutions.

 

In the past I’ve heard of Artificial Intelligent (AI) platforms that can, controversially, judge a persons character from just a photo, as well as their likelihood to commit crime. Now though a new technology that reveals a persons personality from just common-a-garden facial images in real time and at scale is hoping to revolutionise how companies, organisations and even robots understand people and dramatically improve public safety by being able to reveal potential paedophiles to terrorists simply from their photos. That said though the technology will naturally have its critics and sceptics, and I myself am keeping an open mind.

 

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The startup called Faception, which is short for Facial Personality Analytics, from Israel is the first and only company in the world in the field of “facial personality analytics,” and naturally they’re attracting interest from a wide range of organisations. In short the company “develops solutions for identifying potential criminal or terrorist based on face structure analysis and other parameters.”

Faception recently participated in the Israeli iHLS Security Startup Accelerator, and just had it’s main patent approved. The company also reports that it’s completed several successful pilots of its technology with a mix of technology vendors, federal agencies, and system integrators, but as of yet there don’t seem to have been any results published publically.

As you’d expect Faception’s technology leverages advances in artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine vision and draws in a mix of other information from other sources in order to help the platform analyse facial images and “reveal character and personality in real-time in order to help detect anonymous persons with malicious intentions.”

 

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“Unlike most facial identification technologies that still rely on information from existing databases,” says Gilboa the company’s CEO, “our technology deals with people who are still anonymous and there is no intelligence information about them. Therefore, the company operates under full objectivity and with no risk to privacy. In fact, the system only has a facial image, it does not need any details of name, gender, age or ethnicity. The system operates with no big data on people, just like a blood test, that is ‘blind’ to these parameters.”

Recently, the company has also been expanding its activity into two new fields, namely fintech and intelligent machines, supplying different organisations with what they call “personalisation and human machine interface” solutions, but the technology could also be applied to anything or anywhere where machines and humans interact with each other.

 

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Naturally a technology that can accurately gauge someone’s personality from a simple photo could be incredibly powerful, and naturally, like every technology it has both benign, and nefarious use cases. On the one hand it could help healthcare providers provide better personalised care, on the other it could help play a role in helping banks decide whether or not you should get a loan, while on the other it could help governments moderate and limit access to particular services.

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