Facial Recognition software tools marketed by businesses such as Faception and Decipher claim to be able to identify an individual’s personality and behavior. They state that from a photo they are able to determine if the person could be a terrorists or pedophile. Further, their claim is that photos can identify likely poker or bingo winners. Mattersight goes one step further and makes the same claims using both video facial recognition and voice. (Photo Credit: Shriver Claes/Penn State)
The individuals categorized in this way have likely played no part in providing in-depth information about themselves. They will not have completed a validated and sophisticated discovery process. They simply had their photo taken.
I’ve watched movies portray how law enforcement uses facial recognition to identify/locate a person already in their data base, but to randomly take photos from which a personality and behavior can be determined? Seems like science fiction. It could also be argued – it is discriminatory. In their 2016 article, The Underlying Bias of Facial Recognition systems, Clare Garvie and Jonathan Frankle at the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, outline the potential issues of bias around facial-recognition software. They state that depending on how algorithms are trained, they could be more accurate when identifying white faces than African American ones.
Of course, there will always be a place in society for tools that keep us safe. Maybe facial recognition will one day play its part. But along with Big Data gathering, if one under scrutiny is not involved in the process and have not completed a validated questionnaire, there is no way a tool such as this can uncover a person’s personality.
Cetera Financial Group CEO Robert Moore believes that facial recognition software (referring to Decipher) will provide a faster and more accurate read of a client’s risk tolerance and financial behavior than any questionnaire ever could.
Some questions to consider:
1. How will facial recognition tools predict individual’s reaction under pressure?
2. How will they predict the degree to which they will tolerate risk?
3. How will they understand their communication style?
4. What will be revealed about the individual’s ability to build relationships?
5. Are they more likely to be a loner/reclusive or the life of the party?
6. How will facial recognition determine my approach to wealth creation?
None of these facets can be revealed through facial recognition. Some through Big Data, but ALL with a robust highly validated process such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery.
I’m all for innovation and new technology. I’m part of it. Our DNA Behavior platform is the world’s only all-in-one cloud-based behavioral analytics platform to know, engage and grow both employees and clients using all the dimensions of a person’s personality.
But facial recognition cannot reveal the true me. Yesterday I had a tooth extraction, my face was very swollen. I wonder what a photo of me would have predicted? Further, think of twins, I have a few twins and indeed triplets in my world and, as a behavioral analyst, I can tell you that neither group has the same personality or behavior.
This is me, this is my personality. My face won’t reveal this.
We all make judgments when first we meet someone – often based on appearance. We then get to know them, and on some occasions don’t like what we see – or vice versa.
As Pedro Domingos, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington, said to the Washington Post, Can I predict that you’re an axe murderer by looking at your face and therefore should I arrest you? You can see how this would be controversial.
Princeton psychology professor Alexander Todorov told the Washington Post, The evidence that there is accuracy in these judgments (referring specifically to Faception) is extremely weak.
In conclusion – you’ll get to know more about me through a robust questionnaire than taking my photo.