Thursday, June 2, 2016

Twenty-seven faces
With their eyes turned to the sky

"Why the photograph?" I asked peevishly, while my eyes recovered from the flash. Another Kiwi extended his hand, palm down, out of habit, to be fingerprinted.

"We're going to send them to the Faception company," explained Evangeline van Holsterin (head barmaid at the Old Entomologist), "so they can train a neural network on them and draw out the distinguishing features, for an image filter that detects the faces of no-hoper loonies who never pay their bar tabs on time."

"I resent this casting of aspergillus against my good repute," Another Kiwi vouchsafed, "and I would take my custom to the Sensitive Frog instead, except reasons."

Tigris had a copy of the Faception prospectus. "They have already created filters for 'Terrorist' and 'Pedophile' and 'Academic researcher' that identify those classes of people with 80% accuracy, before they have a chance to commit a crime. Apparently our genes determine our faces, and our genes determine our personalities, so therefore every slight flaw in the character is writ large in physiognomy."
Poet's eyes, in fine frenzy rolling
I rolled mine eyes. "I would have thought that genes that coded for undesirable personality, and also advertised those traits in the facial integument for all to see, would have been weeded out by evolution several million years ago."

"Do they happen to have trained filters that recognise the distinctive facial appearance of shameless grifters and bullshit artists?" AK wondered.


1966 Penguin edition not so
appropriate but Hey, Bellmer!
Closer inspection of the company website reveals the following:

1. The Faception team has persons filling the roles of Entreprenuer, and Thechnologist, but no-one specifically tasked with 'spelling'. Also someone can boast the job title of "High IQ", although his face is unrevealed, which criminal type is he hiding?

2. The Innovator describes himself elsewhere in totally not-self-aggrandising terms as "Computer vision Guru" and "Mentor for Start-up companies". The latter title being how people style themselves after their own long list of start-ups have all fallen and can't get up, with websites that are all crickets-and-tumbleweeds.
Vision Guru Guru
Dr Wilf evidently has some chops in the field of image segmentation (i.e. software that partitions an image into foreground entities against a background and tracks the former across video frames), but this is basically a commodity these days. This has forced Wilf to specialise in narrow niche value-added markets of hyperbole and bluster. Turn any CCTV camera into intelligent panopticon surveillance! Quantify the attention that visitors at the trade fair are paying to your display! Transform bog- standard 2D sportscasts into three-dimensional television in real-time reconstruction! Turn any single CCTV into a SCORPION STARE Basilisk Gun rather than requiring two cameras with parallax!

3. Sadly, they do not acknowledge the pioneering contributions of Cesare Lombroso and his Lemurian Appendix, nor the bestial analogies of Charles Le Brun.

4. I am not sure how well their classification and detection software will handle Scramble Suits and Tleilaxu Face-dancers.


5. It is difficult for five Israeli dudebros to proclaim their ability to discriminate Outsiders and Enemies of Society on the basis of facial appearance / genetic heritage, without introducing an element of historical irony.

4 comments:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

my phrenology app

Somehow you reminded me of that thing I saw on twitter.
~

Smut Clyde said...

Phrenology can't be easy with all those extra bumps on your head from banging your head on the desk.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Laugh all you want, but these guys are totally correct about the thin, cruel lips of the career criminal and the beady gimlet eyes of practiced yeggs.

Smut Clyde said...

* Signing up for lip collagen injections NOW *