On that note, they could utilize the box color to match the party affiliation.
*: fun here is used somewhat sarcastically
whether they deserve to be on that wanted list or not
I mean right now we have cameras everywhere but they’re not all HD so the govt can’t run facial recognition reliably plus they need access to all the cameras. But when people voluntarily put facial recognition devices on their own selves, en masse? Wow.
Sounds like something Google or Amazon could benefit from practically giving away.
Yep, definitely a Black Mirror episode in the making.
Similarly, I wouldn't recognize the president of Brazil. Or the senators of Idaho... Or the governor of new York...
> Rachel Shorey found members of Congress at an event hosted by a SuperPAC by trawling through images found on social media and finding matches.
Wrap it up into a simple native app and you can bypass the MMS BS. Even better, a sufficiently capable dev could integrate an opensource recognition library  to have it entirely implemented on the device.
We'll probably work on something like this for the next version. One reason it's harder than you think: We would have to buy / own rights to the photographs before we could use them to train -- most of those photos are owned by Getty or the AP. And our own photographs are perfectly lit and square, which made them awful for training face recognition.
The other hangup (which I didn't get to in the article) is having to add / remove people. New members are constantly being added and that's a maintenance burden for us. Amazon usually has the new member within a day or two. (Our team is very small and we have a lot of other responsibilities!)
But good points, definitely.
I think your model would be covered by derivative art... unless you started selling the model itself.
Is this actually true?
In UK it would be tortuous because it relies on Fair Use to temporarily store the images in order to extract the facial structure data. Fair Dealing is really draconian in comparison.
They have every incentive to be as conservative in their advice as possible, and no incentives to "allow" risks. Doesn't increase their compensation any.
Please do elaborate on who's enforcing this mindset on you/your team.
This is pretty cool. Do you know of any good references for stuff like this? Not sure what the right topic name would be: online learning? streaming?
This is a good start
(And no one else)
(See previous HN discussion)
A corruption score for bills, almost like a facebook for bills "This bill is friends with Exxon". It would figure out who spent the most getting the bill passed, and who they bought off to get it.
Just a simple thing for people to point to when they say things are corrupt. Granted in today's environment, that score would be 100% most of the time, but it would be interesting to have some idea just who bought the bill.
As sibling comment said, don’t generate an adultery score. That’s not productive or decent. Find actual evidence of wrongdoing, not draconian scoring systems.
People already know who is corrupt, who is sexually harassing, etc.
Certainly their victims and co-conspirators know it. Probably their staffers, friends and family have a pretty good idea.
Often reporters themselves know who is dirty but don't have enough corroborating sources to get past the fact checkers.
So it seems like the Wikileaks model could be improved with a crypto market. Those in the know place bets on who is dirty and get a payoff when the dirt eventually gets disclosed.
It would be a nice incentive to get more disclosure, and it would directly reward the victims and leakers.
Credible whistleblowers have additional incentive, and it would serve as a good yardstick for just how much folks detest a given official.
Alternatively we could take the crypto and go full Weimar Republic with a Kickstriker clone for politicians!
 - http://kickstriker.com/
Hard to protect leakers, victims and funders when the perpetrators have the power to trace payments and seize assets.
Alternatively, we can create an easy-to-use site for the common man who is willing to pony up some petty cash for whatever their version of "justice" is. At sufficiently high levels, in sufficiently corrupt societies they can trace things down and disappear you. This idea isn't for those places, and likely wouldn't even work anyway.
However, in nations with reasonably sound rule of law this could potentially work.
Adultery is not a crime.
(You can argue that it's an indicator of a person's character, or lack thereof, sure. But that's something different.)
That's pretty terrible.
Also the legend is pretty amusing:
Why not instead look at real crimes like pay-for-play, fraud, sexual assault, etc.?
Adultery was picked because it is a very common behavior which is nonetheless viewed very poorly by society. It's the kind of thing which historically gets politicians into trouble. Being named as an adulterer is a realistic thing for a politician to fear, as it could ruin their life - the way getting labelled a terrorist or a pedophile or similar will be a reasonable thing for a citizen to fear when systems are debuted that use the same technology to label people with a likelihood score. That is why adultery was picked. If you wanted to do by pay-for-play where would you get your training data set? Where are the people who have actually lost their office because of that? The others are the same. We have a long history of politicians getting busted for adultery, so we can have a good training dataset. And the results will be garbage and useless. That's the whole and entire point. Once you have an automated system built, it doesn't matter whether its conclusions have any merit. It will hand out judgements, no one will be able to explain what basis they actually have, but investigations will be targetted and reputations will be destroyed.
My intent isn't even to accomplish any of that reputation destruction, it is simply to show Congress the ill use such systems can and will be put to.
Likewise having a spiff 18 months ago at burning man or glasto isn't really a huge risk to security if its not a crime - would also help with recruitment for TLA's
Absolutely it could - that would all be factored into the percentage. Human behavior and chance encounters are the exact reason you could never say 0% or 100%, however.
Sounds like a really mean spirited thing to do. They are people too.
Several comments from the article give me concern
- They seem to think Rekognition is a panacea for their problem, but there are many known issues with Rekognition celebrity detection. Not to mention that the cost-per-request is often highly unfavorable compared with building a higher-accuracy, situation-specific solution with extensions to pre-trained models.
- They say some interns took a “novel approach” by creating a hard coded look-up table for disambiguating similar politician-celebrity pairs. This creates awful tech debt and failure cases. I’m not knocking it too hard because it’s pragmatic, which is a good sign about those interns, but this should be seen as a necessary wart to be improved, not a point of pride.
- As others have pointed out, even considering turnover in Congress, it seems like people who report on Congress for their full time job should recognize them. It truly seems like a silly, wasteful use of resources to solve this with computer vision.
This is all consistent with what I’ve heard from colleagues at NYT data science. As well as people I’ve known in data science bootcamps around New York, like Insight, who heard recruiting pitches.
Their department seems self-aggrandizing, using highly overwrought personalization models and seeming to have 538-envy for how they want their data science work to come off despite 538 exiting, among other important figures like Mike Bostock.
It just comes off as a place that wants to do status signalling to seem like a machine learning or data science thought-leader, but they don’t pay competitively or do what’s needed to retain good people and would rather do patchwork stuff like this with interns than to take the work a little more seriously.
I don’t get the impression it’s a place serious ML practitioners would want to go.
> Most recently, Rachel Shorey found members of Congress at an event hosted by a SuperPAC by trawling through images found on social media and finding matches.
I bet nothing in the technology says "member of Congress" or depends on the target being member of Congress. So anybody can mine social media and collect surveillance data on people. And that is probably already happening.
Someone is woefully ignorant how good facial-recognition surveillance is.
Every profession has things you can look up and things you just have to memorize. 540 people isn't much - can sports journalists recognize 540 athletes? Otherwise you'll be in situations where you don't have an opportunity to look them up (e.g., can't get a photo, no time, etc.), and you'll have many false negatives: If you don't know what they look like, you won't realize it's a member of Congress at the party with the coke.
Spending a significant amount of time developing a process for face memorization and undertaking it would be an example of needless/premature optimization, especially for people who may be covering Congress tangentially. Most of a Congress reporter's job does not depend on having random encounters with members of Congress.
So much for my fantasy of a reporter's life; press conferences and hearings sound boring. But I will nitpick a minor point:
> there's decent churn in Congress, making this more than a one-time or annual thing
I don't remember the rate at which incumbents are re-elected, but it's pretty damn high. Unfortunately, after you memorize them once, you'd only have to learn a few more at a time.
I respectfully refer the gentleperson from Spooky to the following:
Few things in life are more predictable than the chances of an incumbent member of the U.S. House of Representatives winning reelection.
They don't provide a number but eyeballing the chart, I think that number starts with a "9" over several decades, and is increasing. Here's an article that says it was around 96.6% in 2014; it must be embarrassing to find yourself in the bottom 3.4 percent of any group.
(It also says House members are reelected more often than Senate members.)
Well... I don't know if that's a fair comparison. Members of Congress don't generally walk around with their names embroidered on their shirts (but, hey, that might be a good idea!)
This is disturbing to hear. How can our congress make the best decisions possible if it can't access and communicate relevant information quickly? The ROI to the United States of simply having a high-bandwidth network at this global powerspot is so obvious that I had just assumed it was the case—so to hear that reporters can't even use a web interface to quickly send images is frightening if true, and perhaps even indicative of a broader issue of our government's inability to effectively execute, partially rooted in its inability to empower itself with the tools necessary to effectively execute.
* Edited at burkaman's prompt to be less sensationalist
You absolutely do not want members of Congress using an open network at a "global powerspot". Hopefully they use a highly secured network that is not open to anyone who can get press credentials. Seeing an open unsecured network at the Capitol might actually be deeply terrifying.
I have worked at large 500+ delegate conferences using parliamentary procedures and now they often use electronic systems for both teller and card votes which is much faster