Human eyeballs, not fancy facial recognition software, helped identify the Boston Marathon bombers, due to the fact that the software works best on well-posed, frontal facial photos taken for identification purposes.
The Intelligence Research Projects Agency says it wants “to dramatically improve the current performance of face recognition tools by fusing the rich spatial, temporal, and contextual information available from the multiple views captured by today's media in the wild,” through its Janus program named after the two-faced Roman god.
IARPA is interested in funding research that “uses innovative and promising approaches drawn from a variety of fields to develop novel representational models capable of encoding the shape, texture and dynamics of a face.”
The research agency says it wants smart folks who can “transcend conventional approaches to biometric recognition by drawing on the multidisciplinary expertise of researchers from the fields of pattern recognition and machine learning; computer vision and image processing; computer graphics and animation; mathematical statistics and modeling; and data visualization and analytics.”
Alas, as you can tell by my mug shot on this column, the spooks will not need any fancy algorithms to pick me out of a crowd.
IARPA will hold an industry conference on the Janus project June 13 at an unidentified secure facility whose location will be revealed after a two-stage registration process that I believe requires a decoder ring.