Seems like what he did was take Umass' Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) dataset, combine all the faces together and generate a composite rendering. Hardly a representation of "What your face looks like to Facebook".
Articles like this do little to advance the discussion of the real concerns around facial recognition other than scare folks into an Orwellian vision of the future a la Hollywood and Minority Report.
In addition to the work that the NTIA is doing around setting privacy standards for facial recognition applications (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/other-publication/2014/privacy-multi...) there are a lot of companies using the technology for good, but it is very difficult to get as much press and attention for those types of positive stories.
For example, my own company, (http://www.kairos.com) is working with some very brave and passionate guys at HelpingFaceless.com in India who are using facial recognition to help combat the growing problem of child trafficking and enslavement in India.
See more about their story here: http://social.yourstory.com/2014/07/helping-faceless/
I used a genetic algorithm with facial detection/recognition algorithms as fitness functions
Recognition algorithms like eigenfaces, fischerfaces will reproduce one individual.
More general detection algorithms like YEF realtime object detection as a fitness function will result in more general faces which represent some of the learned features from the LFW database. I'm not just combining images, there's lots of machine learning involved.
Recheck my site in two weeks or so I'll be posting my MS thesis about the subject with more technical details.
(Wrote this on my phone excuse the brevity)
These masks are shadows of human beings as seen by the minds-eye of the machine-organism. These DATA-MASKS are animistic deities brought out of the algorithmic-spirit-world of the machine and into our material world, ready to tell us their secrets, or warn us of what’s to come.
It's not surprising that HN viewers are confused about what you actually did.
In any case, seems like a cool project, now that I know what it is :-).
There are more technical details at the bottom of that page in the form of diagrams
I want to see cameras on every police officer in every city, before even considering more giving them more surveillance technology.
The fact that the results look very little like human faces do provide insight most people don't have into how the algorithms work. The algorithms basically work by measuring distances between dots in the end anyway, distance between eyes, etc., and that's very unlike how humans recognize faces which has more depth to it.
It's pretty neat seeing what a "general" face looks like.
Which is also pretty interesting.
Its as much anti facial recognition as a paper bag
This guy seems to be optimizing his mask to fool facial recognition.
For people struggling to understand, it's a little like having a tool that uses automatically generated regular expressions to find things in text, except you don't know what regex the computer is actually using. For my name it could be as simply as "bane" or something crazy that a human would never think up, say b[a-z]+e. It matches my name, but it's interesting to explore what else it matches: "barserphursnatche" is also perfectly acceptable. Remember, you don't know what the computer is using to recognize things, so you have to simply probe: randomly generate strings, use some kind of genetic algorithm etc.
In the end, you probably won't find b[a-z]+e, but you'll find some expression with a sizable intersection like b[a-y][b-z]*e. Once you have that you can use the expression as a generator and build a list of all the possible names it will match with something like Microsoft's Rex 
What we find is that lots of the stuff the computer likely matches are not my name at all, or even look like a name (e.g. "baghuadsoadshasdguoasdughasdgaodsguafdghaufogafuhgafduoe") and it gives us insight into what it's doing.
I think why I like this work is that it makes me think of a sci-fi short story:
- A boy encounters an alien civilization
- The boy befriends a robot from the civilization
- They go off on some adventures together
- During a scene of doubt in their relationship, during a stressful final adventure, the boy asks the robot what he thinks of him. The robot 3d-prints off one of these heads and gives it to the boy.
1 - http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/7f1d87be-f6d9-...
> If the state of the art in computer science can produce a unique feature that describes an individual as such, what good does that do the individual if this knowledge is only leveraged against them?
> If private citizens personal information, social graphs, and communications are being analyzed then the results should be made available to said persons to empower rather than enslave them. This attitude has become popular in personal fitness but not in communications, biometric identity, or social networks.
> “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are” - Talmud
I love this. Really fantastic work.
Other than demonstrating the flaws of current facial recognition algorithms there does not seem to be any use for this.
Anyway, pretty cool use of evolutionary algorithms and nice pictures.
...Reminds of being up at night as a kid, and seeing faces in shadows, patterns on the wall, vvhatever
Edit: Original seems up again