Scotland Yard super-recognizers ID faces far better than any current computer technology

facial recognition elite super recognizers  four people software
Could you have an unrecognized super power? For example, if you’re extraordinarily good at remembering faces, you may not even be aware of it. While most of us are okay at facial recognition, there are a very few whose skills classify them as ‘super-recognizers,’ according to NewStatesman.

If you had a super power that enabled you to fly, turn invisible, or climb buildings by throwing a sticky web-like substance from your wrists, you’d probably know that right off. Since facial recognition is a skill common to most of us, you might never know if you had a gift for it — unless someone came looking for it. And that’s how a small team of highly gifted super-recognizers was formed, who also happen to work for Scotland Yard.

The inabilty to recognize faces, called “prosopagnosia,” can result from brain trauma, but it can also be a developmental issue. It occurs in about two out of every 100 people, according to studies mentioned by NewStatesman. In some cases, people with diminished facial recognition cannot even recognize their own face in a mirror, let alone their family and friends. Prosopagnosia is more common than the reverse, those who can recognize a face years after a chance encounter and brief glance on the street. Super-recognizers can also match facial images of people they’ve never met but who have multiple photos on file.

In 2007, a Detective Chief Inspector of the London Metropolitan Police realized some officers were extraordinarily better at others at recognizing the faces of unidentified criminals captured by the city’s CCTV cameras. Testing and further screening eventually led to a small group of London police officers who formed the Super-Recognizer Unit in 2015.

The Super-Recognizer Unit is the only such team in the world. It currently consists of six men and one woman. The team has worked with German police and has also had visits and requests from law enforcement agencies from India, Australia, and the U.S.

Researchers focusing on super-recognition continue to study the ability. According to Anna Boback, research fellow at the Centre for Face Processing Disorders at Bournemouth University, the ability to recognize faces is largely genetic. Attempts to train people to improve have not had consistent results.

What about using computers for facial recognition? You know, like we see on TV? According to Scotland Yard officials, who themselves use the technology, the computer software has been credited with just 1 of 2,010 identifications made since 2015, when the official Super-Recognizer Unit was formed. The rest have been made by the team.

Psychologist Josh Davis, an expert on CCTV identification at the University of Greenwich, who also helped in testing and screening for the Super-Recognizer Unit, says, “Algorithms will get better and we will be able to build 3D representations of faces. But people change appearance and we as humans are primed to see through those changes.”

Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Computing

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Computing

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Computing

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Computing

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.