Facebook’s new facial recognition tool automatically tags people in photos, a tool that despite being branded as ‘unnerving’ by some, is actually being used for good. Missing Persons Action Network (MPAN), an Australian organisation dedicated to helping find missing people, are encouraging Facebook users to add the profiles of missing people as friends. The campaign is called ‘Invisible Friends’ and will centre around the profiles of ten missing Australians.
The profiles of these missing people are actually run by MPAN themselves, and they are asking users to add them as friends in the hopes that any pictures the users may post could capture a missing person in the background, sending a notification asking if the missing person wants to be tagged or not, which will alert the organisation controlling the page.
Loren O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of MPAN, described the facial recognition tool as, “The 2018 high-tech missing persons poster.”
While Facebook hasn’t confirmed the accuracy of the new facial recognition feature, it’s DeepFace algorithm is able to identify faces with an accuracy of 97.35% from a selection of 4 million facial images. DeepFace’s accuracy is based on their innovation of the conventional facial recognition and their use of 3D face modelling and a deep network comprised of nine layers.
Regardless of if you find the new facial recognition feature unsettling or not, it’s good to see social media being used to advance a good cause.