Nowadays, facial recognition has one of the highest practical and technical capacities. However, public reaction is mixed: Many are not prepared for the technological advancement, blaming developers of surveillance and taking away the understanding of the privacy. This was pretty predictable, though, as there has not been any innovation that hasn’t been met by people positively at the very first days of presentation: Neophobia, or the fear of new things, is a relatively complicated phobia, but is as old as time.
Face ID by Apple installed on the iPhone X in 2017 took the responsibility of changing people minds. This was the first step to set up trust and demonstrate to people how the system is useful and helpful in daily life. The technology showed that facial recognition is not only about surveillance but rather about protecting their personal and private data.
Vetements is a French luxury brand, one of the most successful representatives of new school streetwear — where the most powerful engine is protest. Today’s fashion and clothes are more about an approach or a creative message than a specific product.
In the middle of January’19, Vetements presented a new show, “Men’s and Women’s Fall 2019,” surrounded with secrecy. Denma Gvasalia, a Georgian designer in Paris and head designer of Vetements, draws his inspiration from internet trends and glorifies the idea that personality is now not what your face looks like or how good your shape is, but what you are doing and what your style tells society.
The target audience of the brand is active internet users, and the core idea being a strong desire to be totally anonymous, from network transfers to real life. Through the oversized clothes, ski masks and wide hoods, the designer shows his respect for the audience’s unanimity, and suggests his own way of the fight.
After the show Gvasalia said: “We got some people to show us the dark net, which is kind of the backstage of what we know as the internet. That was our starting point, like, how far can you go? Then as we got more into our research we kind of realized that geeks have really become the new punks. They’re changing the world! With the smartphone for example. So this was my tribute to what these new punks and grunge kids are doing today.”
Your face is not just your appearance anymore. By hiding their faces, people have forgotten that, nowadays, it has replaced IDs and wallets. AI is not a mysterious fiction or fantasy anymore, it’s already a part of our world.
As with everything in the world, facial recognition has its own pros and cons. Sure, permanent surveillance doesn’t instill trust in the masses. However, the positive influence of the system in the daily routine is the elephant in the room. Most of the functions brought about by facial recognition take place behind the scenes. Quite a few industries use the system to provide better service or security, and it allows for a lot of advantages for their employees’ and/or customers’ lives — really, for humanity in general.
Let’s take a look on the several examples:
According to statistics, more than 30 percent of the United States Criminal Investigation Division cases, the only evidence that the agencies have is a photo or video of the unidentified suspect. Waiting for a response from social networks or other media resources can take a pretty long time, or even can bring no result at all. Facial recognition improves the system, brings new possibilities to shorten that time, and develop a new script for investigations.
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Retail is an industry that already actively uses different facial recognition scenarios for security, marketing and service improvement. The system allows for the better understanding of consumer needs and predict his/her behavior — the whole service becomes more and more customer-oriented. Just imagine, a system recognizes the person from the blacklist less than a second after the moment he/she enters and an alarm notifies security in 1–2 seconds. Or, if you are not impressed with the security features and think that it’s not related to you, here’s another scenario: After understanding your purchasing history, you could get special offers for the products you usually buy in the supermarket around the corner, just because the system knows you and your daily basket.
These were just three examples, but can you notice how many possible use cases your mind is imagining right now? Most of them are already working in banks, hotels, restaurants, transport, telecom and others for thousands of various scenarios.
Do not be afraid of technology — usually, it makes life better. Just stop looking for a trick!