The Metropolitan Police has announced it is going to use Live Facial Recognition (LFR) in London. The controversial technique involves officers sitting in a public place and filming the people who walk past. Their faces are automatically compared to pictures in a database of wanted criminals and the police are alerted if there is a match. A few days earlier, the New York Times reported that a company called ClearView AI has developed a facial recognition tool that allows law enforcement agencies in the US to match images or video footage with photos from the internet.
Earlier this year, researchers announced a new Artificial Intelligence system, GPT-2, that can finish people’s sentences. The resulting text is relatively coherent but, as the researchers note, far from perfect. Word repetition is one problem; describing the impossible (such as a fire underwater) is another; and sentences are prone to strange topic changes.
In 1990 Hugh Loebner inaugurated the Loebner Prize for Artificial Intelligence, awarded annually to the computer chat program, or ‘chatbot’, that can most convincingly mimic the typed conversation of a human being. Loebner says it’s ‘the first formal instantiation’ of a Turing test; Marvin Minsky, one of the pioneers of AI, has called it ‘obnoxious and stupid’.