Tag Archives: Facebook

Super-recognizers on Australian public radio today

 

Genelle Weule So, you think you’re good at recognising faces. ABC Science. March 11 2018.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-11/super-face-recognisers-are-you-one/95177

Super-recognisers. All in the Mind. ABC Radio National. 11 March 2018.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/super-recognisers/9523296

In New Scientist

Face recognition row over right to identify you in the street

15:41 19 June 2015 by Hal Hodson

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27754-face-recognition-row-over-right-to-identify-you-in-the-street.html#.VYktFPmqpBd

Many of the clever face recognition tasks done by technology described here could be done by an experienced super-recognizer employee, and commentators concerned about privacy can go have a big cry over the things that supers can do, because you can’t legislate that people such as super-recognizers should refrain from using natural talents.

And more…..

Facebook can recognise you in photos even if you’re not looking

15:27 22 June 2015 by Aviva Rutkin

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27761-facebook-can-recognise-you-in-photos-even-if-youre-not-looking.html#.VYp5JPmqpBc

Synaesthesia-related current and upcoming arts events in Australia

MONA in Tasmania will be revisiting the theme of synaesthesia in Synaesthesia+, a musical, visual and gustatory festival of the psychological phenomenon. It is happening this weekend and tickets will set you back quite a lot.

In Perth, Western Australia PICA have been hosting an exhibition of sound art, What I See When I Look at Sound, featuring the works of artists Lyndon Blue, Lauren Brown, Matthew Gingold, Cat Hope and Kynan Tan. This show will be on until the end of this month and it is free, or at least we didn’t get charged when we went to look and listen to it a while ago.

You might think from considering the title of the exhibition that it might have the theme of synaesthesia, and indeed the works are described each as a “synaesthetic offering”, but actually I believe that the theme of the exhibition, “the relationship between looking and hearing” is actually about binding, which is a broader term that can encompass normal or average sensory perception and also some types of synaesthesia that are similar to or more consciously-experienced variants of normal mental sensory perception. I think this exhibition is about binding more than it is about synaesthesia. If a multi-sensory arts event was “about synaesthesia” I’d expect to see lots of colour and hear music and maybe see or feel letters of the alphabet, or see calendars suspended in space, and maybe even experience smells and flavours. I might look at a “synaesthesia art” painting and as a direct result “feel” motion or “hear” rhythms.The painting Upward by synaesthete artist Vassily Kandinskii or the painting Broadway Boogie Woogie by probable synaesthete artist Piet Mondrian are both pretty clear examples of what I mean by synaesthesia art. I have written about both artists previously in posts at this blog.

Binding is a term used in psychology, the philosophy of mind, neuroscience and cognitive science. It is certainly related to synaesthesia and is central to scientific understanding of synaesthesia as a phenomenon in neuroscience, but it isn’t the same thing. As far as I understand binding is about the perception of the many different sensory characteristics of an object or an event as a unified thing or event. A clear example would be the installation Filament Orkestra by Matthew Gingold. It grabs and holds attention and causes reflection even though the idea is no more complicated than (simple) sound and (plain white) light being presented (or not presented) both at the same points in time. I found the effect to be quite reminiscent of flamenco dancing and tap dancing, which I guess shows how the sensory binding of sight and sound is an engaging effect that is used in a diverse range of art forms, high arts and popular arts, modern and traditional, even including firework displays. Have you ever had the experience of viewing from an elevated location a fireworks display that is happening a distance away, and the wind is blowing in such a direction that the sound waves never reach where you are standing, so that the sight has no soundtrack? It’s the strangest thing to see (and not hear).

According to some online festival programs, tomorrow (Saturday August 16th 2014), as a part of the Perth Science Festival which is a part of National Science Week there will be a free event in the Central Galleries at PICA titled Sounds Symbols and Science at 1.00pm, which will be “a special live concert of “Cat Hope’s End of Abe Sade in the What I See When I Look at Sound exhibition”” and this will somehow involve digital graphic notation, which is a concept that very much overlaps with many synaesthetes’ experiences of listening to music, including my own at times, so I’m happy to categorize this planned event as synaesthetic, which is more than enough to provoke my curiosity.

http://www.pica.org.au/view/Sounds%2C+Symbols+and+Science/1891/

https://www.facebook.com/events/686307634740051/

http://www.scienceweek.net.au/perth-science-festival/

http://www.scitech.org.au/events/1583-perth-science-festival

News on facial recognition technology of the last week

http://www.news.com.au/technology/facial-recognition-developed-in-brisbane-on-x6-spy-glasses-us-military-queensland-police-interested/story-e6frfrnr-1226979586776

I briefly noticed a news story on TV a few days ago which featured a piece of facial recognition technology worn as glasses (like Google Glass) which included big claims about being able to identify a face from a database of thousands of persons of interest. I think the news story linked to above is that story, about X6 spy glasses, Osterhout Design Group, Defense Intelligence Agency (USA Govt) and Dr Brian Lovell, a professor at the University of Queensland and CTO at Imagus Pty Ltd. Dr Lovell has a very impressive CV but all the same I was not impressed in 2012 with the way he lightly dismissed the capabilities of human face recognition in an appearance on the Catalyst science TV show from the ABC. I’ll be impressed by the X6 technology when it is used and tested in real life applications. The period of time that human facial recognition capabilities have been used and tested in real life applications is measured in millions of years, so I think the artificial versions of facial recognition might have a bit of catching up to do.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/07/08/fbi-may-seek-facebook-data-for-facial-recognition

http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2014/07/08/how-facebook-succeeds-at-facial-recognition-while-the-fbi-struggles/

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/7/5878069/why-facebook-is-beating-the-fbi-at-facial-recognition?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

On a similar theme I have found some interesting recent news stories comparing the facial recognition databases of Facebook and the FBI. It looks like Facebook’s DeepFace is superior in important ways compared to the FBI’s Next Generation Identification. I think it is important to consider the value of such databases, as well as human face recognition, as tools in the investigative process rather than as producers of forensic evidence, and for sure these technological facial recognition databases can use (memorize?) huge volumes of images. But regarding the actual process of face recognition, I’m still to be convinced that there is any technology that can do what humans, including human super-recognizers, can do. As Russell Brandom wrote in The Verge “While there are plenty of contractors who are willing to promise “near-human” recognition capabilities, real facial recognition is much harder than the industry lets on.”

Facebook almost as good as humans at recognizing faces, but how would it compare with super-recognizers?

The thing that you’ve got to remember when reading headlines like this is that human super-recognizers can recognize (recently and non-recently) familiar faces at a level of performance that is very much higher than the human norm in face recognition or face memory performance. So the technology might be closing in on human face recognition ability, but how far is it from outperforming the best humans, the super-recognizers who have been estimated as one in a hundred people? My guess is that the technology isn’t even in the same postcode as supers.

Facebook almost as good as humans at recognising faces.
by Hal Hodson
New Scientist. 18 March 2014 Issue 2961.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25245-facebook-almost-as-good-as-humans-at-recognising-faces.html#.Uyhag_mSx8E

Fascinating Reddit conversation from last year

MyNameIs BrookeToo I am a faceblind girl dating a super-recognizer. AUsA. Reddit. Discussion started March 25th 2012. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/rcgh8/i_am_a_faceblind_girl_dating_a_superrecognizer/ 

This is a fascinating and long discussion in which a prosopagnosic lady using the name MyNameIsBrookeToo and her super-recognizer boyfriend using the name Shandog answer many questions. Does Facebook discriminate against people who have prosopagnosia? The aspect of this question and answer session which I find the most interesting is the way Shandog describes the actual experience of super-recognition. The way he describes it, it sounds a lot like synaesthesia, particularly two types of synaesthesia experienced by myself (a super-recognizer who also experiences many different types of synaesthesia) of which I believe I was the first person to ever write and publish descriptions; domino-effect synaesthesia and The Strange Phenomenon. I suggest that you use the “find” button on your browser to look through this Reddit conversation and find the two instances in which the word “trigger” is used (by Shandog). The word “trigger” is of course often used in descriptions of the experience of synaesthesia, because that is basically what synaesthesia is, the triggering of one experience by another, in unexpected ways. In synaesthesia the triggering experience is called an inducer and the triggered unexpected or idiosyncratic experience is called a concurrent. I think Shandog’s descriptions support the assertion that I made years ago that my super-recognition is connected or caused by my synaesthesia, and this could well be the case for other supers, but I guess we should also consider that Shandog’s comments and ideas might have been influenced by reading this blog.

A super-recognizer moment

I’ve been looking at stuff from the WA Museum and Lost Perth on Facebook, and there was a photo of the Perth fashion designer Aurelio Costarella taken with a department store Santa Claus when Mr Costarella was seven years old. The instant I saw the photo I recognized the santa (or the Father Christmas as we would have said back then) as the same one who was in a old Santa’s knee shot taken of me when I was around ten years old. I always thought of this santa as looking a bit too much like the character Zachary Smith in the 1960s TV show Lost in Space. I think that is what we might call a super-recognizer moment. Lost Perth also featured a photo of the old Bairds department store which was in the Perth CBD. I can still remember the interior of that store like I was there yesterday, and I think that might be related to the fact that it is one of the many memories of scenes that I experience as synaesthesia concurrents evoked by thinking about specific concepts. There’s nothing like an old photo, and a sometimes-photographic memory, to bring the past alive.

https://www.facebook.com/wamuseum

https://www.facebook.com/LostPerth

Pareidolia in a squashed plastic choc-milk bottle

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619558368056300&set=a.352718398073633.93806.131153923563416&type=1&theater

Perth missing persons – can you help?

Perth WA Crime Reports on Facebook quite often features photos of people missing from WA locations. Can you help? Have you seen any of these people?

http://www.facebook.com/perthwacrime

Links related to Face-recognition research team at Uni of East London, Dr Ashok Jansari and their study of super recognizers

There is quite a bit of info here about prosopagnosia and super-recognizers and the University of East London research team:

Face-recognition Research Team http://www.uel.ac.uk/psychology/research/face-recognition/

Their study in which they hope to find some super-recognizers:

Superrecognizers http://www.superrecognizers.com/

Their Facebook page:

Face Recognition Research at UEL http://www.facebook.com/Face.Recognition.Research.at.UEL

Info from the Science Museum about the superrecognizers study:

Who am I? Live Science – Familiar Faces http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/events/demonstrations/Live_Science_faces.aspx

Dr Ashok Jansari at Twitter:

Ashok Jansari @ SuperRecognizer  http://twitter.com/superrecognizer

YouTube video with interview with Dr Jansari:

Dr Ashok Jansari on BBC The One Show talking about Prosopagnosia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Hooty5YMo

YouTube channel of Dr Jansari?

Superrecognizers  http://www.youtube.com/user/Superrecognizers?feature=watch

This website appears to be under construction and associated with this research team:

Name That Face  http://namethatface.org/