Next year, in cities across the world, expect to have your face scanned for levels of aggression. NtechLab, a Russian facial recognition company best known for the FindFace app once labelled the harbinger for the end of online privacy, says it’s currently testing «aggression detection» tech with plans for a full rollout to its surveillance partners and customers in 2021. To help it along the way, it’s just received $ 15 million from two sovereign wealth funds — one the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the other a mysterious, unnamed Middle East partner.
NtechLab & FindFace
in the media
The biometric facial recognition and video analytics system developed by NtechLab gives Moscow’s vast network of public cameras impressive capabilities such as high accuracy for people with different skin color and people wearing masks, and continuous identification through silhouette tracking, according to NtechLab Head of R&D and Co-founder Artem Kukharenko.
Facebook has revealed the winners of a competition for software that can detect deepfakes, doctored videos created using artificial intelligence. Third place went to Azat Davletshin, a senior deep learning engineer at the Russian company NtechLab, which is known for its work on facial recognition.
Some vendors and users of facial recognition say the technology works well enough on masked faces. «We can identify a person wearing a balaclava, or a medical mask and a hat covering the forehead,» says Artem Kuharenko, founder of NtechLab, a Russian company whose technology is deployed on 150,000 cameras in Moscow. He says that the company has experience with face masks through contracts in southeast Asia, where masks are worn to curb colds and flu.
The system can also be used for contact tracing, allowing police to follow an infected person’s movements over previous days, said Artyom Kukharenko, the head of research and development at NtechLab, the primary developer for the system. Kukharenko said the system can complete a search in under 10 seconds and that it largely works even when people are wearing face masks by identifying them by their eye line.
Many dating site and app operators want to ensure the authenticity of the people signing up for their services because, unfortunately, a significant number of online daters have been catfished by scammers pretending to be someone they’re not. Dating platforms can help give users more peace of mind thanks to FindFace, a facial recognition software that can authenticate user photos and videos. Unlike similar software, FindFace can identify users in databases of thousands — or millions — of faces.
As Russian cities go into lockdown to try to contain coronavirus, Moscow is using the latest technology to keep track of residents. City officials are using a giant network of tens of thousands of cameras — installed with facial recognition software — which they plan to couple with digital passes on people’s mobile phones. It’s prompted concern about whether such widespread surveillance will ever be rolled back.