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This is What Happens When You Reverse Engineer Facial Recognition

By Jamie Condliffe on at

These haunting images are what happens if you take the state of the art in facial recognition and detection—and turn it completely on its head.

Created by Sterling Crispin, the work is a statement about the increasing pervasiveness of security cameras and recognition software. He explains:

This is meant as a theoretical and technical investigation into the form and function of biometric surveillance technology, which is the mathematical analysis of biological data. Theoretically, I am concerned with the aggressive overdevelopment of surveillance technology and how this is changing human identity and how humanity interacts with technology...

I'm using state of the art face recognition and face detection algorithms to guide an evolving system toward the production of human-like faces. This exposes the way the machine and the surveillance state view human identity and makes aspects of these invisible power structures visible.

The resulting meshes were then 3D-printed, creating masks that could be worn by people, presenting cameras with an image that is no longer an actual face, yet still recognisable as one to software. You can read more about the project over on Sterling Crispin's website. [Sterling Crispin via Flowing Data]