Facerecognitionbook - Facebook Acquires Face Recognition Software

In a move that shows Facebook have no idea that, despite all the angry or laughing reaction likes, all of us are browsing our news feeds with a dead, blank face that may occasionally acknowledge amusement with the flicker of an eyelid, the social media behemoth has recently acquired face and emotion recognition software Faciometrics.

The startup originated at Carnegie Mellon University 'developing state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning algorithms for facial image analysis.' This then led into the creation of various facial recognition apps, including one called Intraface that has now been removed from the app store:

At the moment, the technology will mainly be put into use in Facebook's (and most probably Instagram's and WhatsApp's) AR face masks. The company is keen to keep up with, or even outdo, their social media rival Snapchat, with lenses one of the key features that they're trying to ape. Snapchat's lenses already have basic triggers like users opening their mouth or raising their eyebrows, but the acquisition of Faciometrics could take this kind of AR tech to the next level.

Facebook told TechCrunch that “how people share and communicate is changing and things like masks and other effects allow people to express themselves in fun and creative ways. We’re excited to welcome the Faciometrics team who will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos and build even more engaging sharing experiences on Facebook.”

However, potential uses in the future aren't simply limited to allowing a well timed virtual dog tongue to fly out of your opening mouth, with Faciometric's tech apparently able to recognise human emotion. Facebook has already implemented a variety of reactions in addition to the standard like, allowing them to better determine your emotional reactions to content. Imagine if this then extends to automatic reaction recognition using your webcam, or whatever wearable tech is trending that month.

It may sound far fetched, but the Oculus Rift VR's terms & conditions allow Facebook to collect your movement data, for example. Say they offer enhanced avatar facial simulation through internal face recognition, it stands to reason that they will record that data too. More and more data is always they way they want to go. With the user being the product, there will always be caveats with the continuing advancement of technology.

Another extension of possible facial recognition uses is for gesture control. This would essentially allow you to perform actions within Facebook's range of apps using only your face, presumably supplemented with voice recognition. Although it already seems like half of the denizens of the internet are controlling their keyboards using only their face, this would allow you to skip a peripheral step altogether. It also acts as another way Facebook can get at your visage, sucking the data right out of it like some kind of data dementor.

Regardless of its future uses, it's clear that facial recognition is the on the road ahead as technology continues its inexhaustible march. Hopefully consumers are aware enough of things like data collection policies to demand some restrictions to them before free collection becomes enshrined in T&C tablature. Otherwise, there could be conflict between users and platforms in the future. A face off, if you will.

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