Connect with us

General

Secret Service to Pilot Facial Recognition at White House

Advertisement
Click this link to get the Moto Z2 Force for just $31.50/month. Unlimited and device payment activation required. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply.

The Department of Homeland Security last week published details of a Secret Service plan to test facial recognition at the White House.

The program will test U.S. Secret Service (USSS) employees’ ability to verify the identities of ringers in public spaces around the complex.

“Ultimately, the goal of the FRP [Facial Recognition Pilot] is to identify if facial recognition technologies can be of assistance to the USSS in identifying known subjects of interest prior to initial contact with law enforcement at the White House,” according to the DHS document.

Currently, Secret Service members assigned to high-ranking government officials, their families, and visiting heads of state rely on photos to identify subjects of interest.

“The USSS believes that deploying facial recognition technology will allow … law enforcement personnel to conduct a facial comparison prior to interaction or engagement,” Homeland Security said.

The pilot program will be carried out in two separate areas of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.: an open setting, “where individuals are free to approach from any angle,” and an indoor space that “provides a controlled flow of individuals.”

Each will use video streams from existing Crown Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera systems, and can capture facial images from as far as 20 yards.

The pilot is scheduled to end on Aug. 30, 2019, at which point all collected facial image data will be deleted from the system.

Still, thousands of people going about their daily business near the White House are having their faces scanned, and possibly falsely matched to target subjects (in this case, volunteer USSS officers).

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service told Geek in an email that “For operational security purposes we do not comment on the means and methods of how we conduct our protective operations.”

It also didn’t actively share details of the upcoming program.

Rather, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) this week highlighted the document—which reveals that “members of the public may be unaware that their facial images are being captured and used by a facial recognition technology,” but that people “cannot opt-out” of the testing.

Folks can expect public notice of the deployment, though there is no word on when the pilot will begin.

“While this pilot program seems to be a relatively narrowly defined test that does not in itself pose a significant threat to privacy, it crosses an important line by opening the door to the mass, suspicionless scrutiny of Americans on public sidewalks,” Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, wrote in a blog post.

“Face recognition is one of the most dangerous biometrics from a privacy standpoint because it can so easily be expanded and abused,” he continued, “including by being deployed on a mass scale without people’s knowledge or permission.”

The DHS pilot document is deliberately obscure; puzzle pieces will remain missing as a safety precaution. But unanswered questions do more to stoke the fire than put out the flames.

“The program is another blinking red light for policymakers in the face of powerful surveillance technologies that will present enormous temptations for abuse and overuse,” Stanley said, urging Congress to “demand answers” and intercede, if necessary.

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 9:30 a.m. ET with comment from the U.S. Secret Service.

More coverage on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Code: GB11.11Camp. Promo code required. Cannot be applied to products on sale.
Code: HOTSPOT. A Night Without Wifi Free Tee with Order $50+! Use code: HOTSPOT

General

IBM AI Loses Debate to Human Champion

Advertisement
Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.

In the battle of man versus machine, crushing defeats by DeepMind’s artificially intelligent Go and StarCraft gaming systems tipped the scales in favor of automation.

But humankind is making a comeback.

On Monday, IBM’s seven-year-old AI debating system Project Debater went head-to-head with a mortal world debate champion Harish Natarajan in a public contest.

The pair, moderated by Intelligence Squared host John Donvan, delivered arguments for and against the resolution “We should subsidize preschool.”

With just 15 minutes to prepare for the event, Project Debater and Natarajan each delivered a four-minute opening statement, four-minute rebuttal, and two-minute summary.

A tall, sleek monolith with a rectangular mouth of blue sound waves, the IBM machine’s knowledge base consists of about 10 billion sentences, collected from newspapers and journals.

In a live debate, it searches for short pieces of text in its massive digital library to defend or oppose the motion.

“This requires a deep understanding of human language and its infinite nuances and very precise stance identification,” creators Ranit Aharonov and Noam Slonim wrote in a blog post. “[That’s] something that is not always easy for humans and is certainly very difficult for computers.”

[embedded content]

In a matter of seconds, Project Debater can remove redundant argumentative texts, select the strongest remaining claims and evidence, arrange them by theme, and create a narrative of support or contention.

It also listens to and digests the opponent’s responses, building a counterstatement in a “surprisingly charming and human-sounding” way, according to Donvan.

Project Debater debuted in June, participating in its first live public event before a small audience. At this week’s IBM Think conference in San Francisco, it faced off against Natarajan in front of a large in-person audience, with many more watching via livestream (video above).

The winner was determined by his (Natarajan’s) or her (Project Debater’s) ability to convince the audience of the persuasiveness of their arguments. Results were formulated in a real-time online poll.

Before the debate, 79 percent of the audience agreed that preschools should be subsidized, while 13 percent disagreed (8 percent were undecided). After hearing both sides present, 62 percent agreed that preschools should be subsidized, while 30 percent disagreed—clinching Natarajan’s win.

Despite the setback, IBM should consider this a win: More than half of participants said that Project Debater better enriched their knowledge about the topic, compared to only 20 percent for Natarajan.

“Ultimately, what we saw was that the interaction of man and machine could be enriching for both,” Slonim said in a statement following the debate. “It’s not a question of one being better than the other, but about AI and humans working together.”

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
for innovative and exceptional clothing for men, women, and kids. Browse stylish, affordable, high-quality basics that are simple, essential and universal.
LogoGarden''s free logo generator makes it as easy as 1-2-3! Try Now! For a limited time only at www.logogarden.com !
Continue Reading

General

‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Taps Performance Capture Tech to Elevate Effects

Advertisement
Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.

Alita: Battle Angel is a thrilling mix of powerful cyborgs, post-apocalyptic cities, and gory fights. The sci-fi movie’s action sequences are courtesy of an advanced innovation: performance capture technology.

The futuristic flick, which hits theaters on Feb. 14, follows Alita (Rosa Salazar), an abandoned cyborg who becomes a fierce warrior to fight corrupt forces. This plot would be hard to accomplish with basic animation, however, performance capture technology enabled the movie’s team to generate lifelike special effects, PCMag reported.

[embedded content]

“This is the tech we’ve been developing. In an earlier test shoot, for [a movie that never got made, based on the novel] Brother Termite, when aliens were arriving, we had an actor perform with an umbrella rig around his head—12 cameras—everywhere,” Jon Landau, the producer of the film, told PCMag. “We saw a future where we would use that facial performance capture to drive performance rather than animating it.”

To make this digital vision possible, Alita: Battle Angel’s team partnered with Weta Digital, a visual effects company based in New Zealand. Unlike other animation systems, this performance capture technology doesn’t interfere with actors’ performances.

Rosa Salazar as Alita in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ (Photo Credit: PCMag)

“The giant system [we have today], when it loses a data point, it’s still able to solve for the skeleton and what the muscles do,” Landau added. “[In our partnership with] Weta Digital … we’re now [able] to create Salazar’s performance from the inside, driving the performance from a muscle base—not putting a mask on the actor through animation—to make sure we are living up to the performance that Salazar is giving us.”

According to Weta Digital, performance capture technology notes details of an actor’s face performance, analyzes how their muscles move, and then maps these motions onto a virtual character. (For example, see Salazar above with dots on her face during the filming process.) What makes this technology cool is that it provides animated figures with human-like reactions, so directors can keep a good shooting flow without stopping to map every facial movement.

“I’m pretty technically proficient and I usually do my own visual effects supervisor role, but now I get to geek out with [Weta Digital],” Robert Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel’s director, told PCMag. “We can take it to another level having them and their knowledge.”

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.
Free Shipping and Returns!
Continue Reading

General

General Motors Starts Taking Orders for Its First Electric Bike

Advertisement
Samsung J7 V just $5 mo. New device payment purchase req'd. Plus, free shipping.

General Motors is reimagining future transportation with its first ARĪV electric bike brand.

In November 2018, General Motors held a global crowdfunding campaign for its new eBike brand. After fans submitted potential names, General Motors decided to call the brand ARĪV, which is pronounced like “arrive.”

The brand includes two connected eBikes: the Meld compact eBike and the Merge folding eBike, which will each retail between $3,106 and $3,782 in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. General Motors, which is taking preorders for the eBikes now via BikeExchange.com, said it will start shipping orders in a few months.

General Motors didn’t provide too many details on the eBikes, however, it said that the eBikes’ motors can reach speeds up to 15.5 mph and contain four levels of pedal-assisted power. There are also key safety features, including a rechargeable front, rear LED lights, and oversized break rotors. Plus, the eBikes’ batteries can be charged in approximately 3.5 hours and receive up to 40 miles of ride time on a single charge.

ARĪV Merge Electric Bike (Photo Credit: General Motors)

Connectivity is another key feature for both eBikes: They can connect to an app that provides users with key riding metrics, including distance, motor assist level, remaining battery level, and speed. Each eBike comes with a Quad Lock mount as well, so users can safely secure a smartphone to the handlebars during rides. General Motors also said it’s working on additional app features, including, “a mode that will use a proprietary algorithm to help riders arrive at their destination sweat-free.”

General Motors did not disclose if its new eBikes will be available in the U.S. and other countries, however, more details on specs and pricing are available on Bike Exchange’s website.

More on Geek.com:

SOURCE

Advertisement
Welcome to Trendsgal to get print shirts! We got various amzing print on our shirts and you can enjoy low to $3.99 for more than 2500+ styles. You can get more discount with a VIP account! Just buying!
Ahorre hasta un 30% de descuento en más de 3.700 hoteles por todo el mundo, desde económicos a de lujo, al reservar por anticipado. ¡Ahorre a lo grande esta primavera!
Continue Reading

Deals

Advertisement
Code: VZWDEAL. Enter this coupon code at checkout to get $100 discount on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Includes free shipping. Restrictions may apply. Device payment purchase required.
Click this link and get flowers that are under $40. Restrictions may apply. Limited time offer.
Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in America. Tractor Supply Company serves an expansive customer base including full and part-time farmers and ranchers, hobby farmers, homeowners and contractors.Tractor Supply Company has an incredible selection of products se

Trending