How facial recognition is changing our lives

Digital Trends’ Riley Winn on the origin and uses of facial recognition technology.
5:44 | 12/02/19

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Transcript for How facial recognition is changing our lives
Have you ever wanted to run an errand without seeing anyone you know. Walt thanks to facial recognition. That's getting more and more difficult. We live in a world where surveillance cameras and software can identify you hundreds of times yesterday while you go about your business and public. The wife of technology so prevalent it was allegedly created to make her life safer. But doesn't actually do that. For better or for worse facial recognition is changing light as we know Steve its. You're watching that the a show where we demystify the technologies that are shaping the future I'm your host right we win. Before we get into how facial recognition technology is used let's talk about why it was created in the first place. The first functional facial recognition system was created by woody Bledsoe hellish Campbell and Charles this. And can actually be traced back to the 1960s. But the technology than it really take off until after September 11 2001. After the attack that date security agencies along Portsmouth identified facial recognition tacked. As a tool that could have prevented thousands of deaths that day. Now facial recognition tech is everywhere from airports to traffic cam it. And it doesn't stop there government agencies aren't the only ones building and using facial recognition. Amazon has the belt a real time technology called recognition. What the connect. And it actively selling that software to long horsemen. At the break now the technology is not being used for investigative purposes. But the goals first to eventually help solve crimes if the long face of the law scares you. Don't worry. Facial recognition is being used for good as well researchers from Oxford in Japan's Kyoto University have developed a facial recognition system that works for humans and chimps too. It accurately identified chimpanzees. 84% of the time and if quickens and thirty seconds. So rather than having to manually tag animals but rely on air prone human identification. These walls could make researching animals in their natural habitat much easier. Mueller. Mueller. Mueller. Remember spending in the first few minutes of cots taking attendance. Well upscale schools are implementing facial recognition. In place of roll call this gives teachers more time to teach their students instead of dealing with administrative tax. FaceBook has hundreds of billions of photos on its platforms. And the social media giant uses facial recognition to automatically tag people in your photos. You may be thinking what the (%expletive) it I don't want people know I was you know with mark last Saturday. Fortunately you get requests for this feature be turned off. Does the idea of a camera in the bathroom freak you out. Put a paper that this such an issue in public restrooms in China that the government hasn't solved facial recognition scanners to prevent bathrooms bandit. Here's how it works. The user scans their base in order to dispense the cheeky but they only get sixty centimeters which depending on how big you are is that pretty much from your elbows to the to be your fingers that is Spencer will deny the same person any actress wears that they try again within nine minutes. China can't spare a square. Remember the movie minority report where video billboards could change depending on who with looking at them. In 2000 few that was just science fiction but now it's real life. A number of advertisers are using this technology. To display targeted at the people in taxis. The focuses less on identifying individuals. And more on recognizing brought trucks such as age gender and even news. But these advertising boards can present different ads depending on who is viewing them at any particular time. Terminal one in Shanghai's international airport uses facial recognition. Per what is basically their version of if you think pretty check. In twelve seconds a traveler can stand there right he cart and you is that security checking machines equipped with facial recognition tack to complete the process. Can you imagine being able to get through airport security in just twelve seconds. It he game changer for trowel as we know it. Not all uses a facial recognition are being received well the city of San Francisco has banned the use of the technology. By anything he agencies including the police department. In the UK it's having its first court cases about that issue there are few problems with the government agencies using this technology. The first is the question of accuracy despite advances in facial recognition technology. There's still concern about bears and eyes. The dangers of algorithmic I have have been flagged by me concerned voices. And facial recognition is one more area where this risk of bias has been proven problematic. Specifically when it comes to people of color. Facial recognition it's controversial. There's no getting around it. Out of all the biometric technologies available now I'm here in the same baggage is automated faithful recognition. So will a number of positive use cases be enough to offset people's concerns about this mass surveillance technology. Will the possibility of preventing another nine elevenths Al terrorist attack a weight people's privacy concerns what to watch and wait. And in the meantime expect to be watched where ever you go to this freak you out for the make you feel safe. Let us know in the comments below until next time I'm Riley when with digital trends and thanks for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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