Computers Can Now Tell If You’re Likely To Be A Criminal Based On These Three Facial Features

By 11.21.16

A controversial new Artifical Intelligence test can scan through a database of photographs and pinpoint which of the individuals are criminals or are likely to become criminals in the future. The ability of this AI program to determine criminality based on facial features was published in a recent paper, a paper that’s already seen major backlash by people calling into question the efficacy of this AI in the real world, and the potential implication that the AI could mark a completely innocent person as being a criminal.

The AI program can allegedly pinpoint criminals based on three key facial features: small mouths, curvy upper lips, and close-set eyes.


There’s already been a MAJOR backlash against this paper, via TheDailyMail:

In their paper, the researchers wrote: ‘Unlike a human examiner/judge, a computer vision algorithm or classifier has absolutely no subjective baggages, having no emotions, no biases whatsoever due to past experience, race, religion, political doctrine, gender, age, etc, no mental fatigue, no preconditioning of a bad sleep or meal.’
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A user on Hacker News said: ‘I am shocked and appalled. It’s so unscientific, it should be taught in class as a counterexample.’
Another user said: ‘A slight smile in the criminals seems more likely to be due to the way that set of photos are taken, and a number of the other features could possibly be explained by the fact the criminal set came from a single police department.’
One of the biggest concerns going forward is that the computer could easily identify innocent people as guilty in a real world-situation, such as in court.

I guess I just can’t envision a real-world scenario in which this AI criminal prediction system could or should ever be used. If there’s even the slightest hint of possibility that the program could misidentify an innocent person as a criminal then it’s totally useless, but moving past that, when would you ever need to scan a photo set of a few thousand people just to figure out which ones are most likely criminals? Wouldn’t a person’s criminal record (or complete lack of criminal record) be all anyone would ever need to know?

[h/t Metro via DailyMail]

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