An advanced facial recognition technology is coming to Facebook, Photo Finder. This application by Face.com uses facial scanning algorithms that would rival those we see on NCIS each week. It will be able to scan through your pics and those public photos of your friends and identify then suggest tags for an untagged people featured in them. Scary stuff!
The speed at which the software can scan through millions of photos appears to be its strength, and while the scan results are not immediate after adding the application, it is possible to view them while the scan is in progress. What’s more Photo Finder saves its results for future use, so that if your friends add the app as well, these photos won’t need to be rescanned.
To begin using Photo Finder, you simply add it to your profile as you would with any other Facebook app. You then click the “Get Started” button and Photo Finder will launch its scan. There’s nothing else you need to do until the scan is complete. You can leave the page to return to other parts of Facebook or even close the web page altogether – Photo Finder will continue to run as you’ve already granted it offline access when you initially added it.
The company has been at pains to address privacy issues and the app will not tag photos within Facebook itself – only within the application, meaning no one can see them unless they too are running the app.
The technology has been in alpha testing for several months among 150 users, colleagues and friends of the creators Gil Hirsch (CEO), Yaniv Taigma (CTO), Eden Shochat, and Moti Shniberg. In that time, around 20 million photos are reported to have been scanned, identifying around 30,000 people.
The company expects to be able to name a ‘launch to the public’ date later this year.
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