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This ugly AF t-shirt blocks facial recognition technology

👀 via @Dazed

5/15/2020 2:00:00 AM

👀 via Dazed

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a garment designed to confuse digital surveillance algorithms into thinking you don’t exist

, and that number’s predicted to rise to one in 11 in the next five years. Thankfully, researchers at Northeastern University, MIT, and IBM have designed a top that makes you invisible to facial recognition technology.Normally, surveillance algorithms work by recognising a characteristic in an image, drawing a ‘bounding box’ around it, and assigning a label to that object. To interrupt this, the t-shirt uses colourful, pixelated patterns to confuse the technology into thinking you don’t exist. In other words, the clusters of pixels are placed to confuse the AI’s classification and labelling system, making it harder for it to map out your facial features.

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“The adversarial t-shirt works on the neural networks used for object detection,” Xue Lin, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern,Wired.According to Lin, wearing the t-shirt makes you 63 per cent less likely to be detected by digital surveillance technology, but it’s not failsafe. “We still have difficulties in making it work in the real world because there’s that strong assumption that we know everything about the detection algorithm,” she said. “It’s not perfect, so there may be problems here or there.”

Read more: AnOtherMagazine »

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