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U.K. Police Double Down on 'Improved' Facial Recognition

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A U.K. police officer on patrol.

Said Lindsey Chiswick, director of intelligence at the Metropolitan Police Service, "It is the first time we have had independent scientific evidence to advise us on the accuracy and any demographic differences of our facial recognition technology."

Credit: Fotolia

The U.K.'s Metropolitan Police Service and South Wales Police have ramped up their commitment to using Live Facial Recognition after research they commissioned revealed "substantial improvement" in their systems' accuracy.

Scientists at the U.K.'s National Physical Laboratory assessed facial detection and recognition algorithms, indicating "no statistical significance between demographic performance" with certain settings applied.

They found setting the "face-match threshold" of Japanese biometrics company NEC's Neoface V4 facial recognition software to 0.6 can yield "equitable" outcomes across gender and ethnicity, greatly reducing the likelihood of false positives.

The algorithm also correctly identified people from facial images in retrospective facial recognition systems and Operator Initiated Facial Recognition systems without fail.

From Computer Weekly (U.K.)
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