The FBI Says Its Photo Analysis Is Scientific Evidence. Scientists Disagree.

At the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, a team of about a half-dozen technicians analyzes pictures down to their pixels, trying to determine if the faces, hands, clothes or cars of suspects match images collected by investigators from cameras at crime scenes.

The unit specializes in visual evidence and facial identification, and its examiners can aid investigations by making images sharper, revealing key details in a crime or ruling out potential suspects.

But the work of image examiners has never had a strong scientific foundation, and the FBI’s endorsement of the unit’s findings as trial evidence troubles many experts and raises anew questions about the role of the FBI Laboratory as a standard-setter in forensic science.

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Source: ProPublica.org

Source: ProPublica.org


This AI Knows Who You Are by the Way You Walk

Our individual walking styles, much like snowflakes, are unique. With this in mind, computer scientists have developed a powerful new footstep-recognition system using AI, and it could theoretically replace retinal scanners and fingerprinting at security checkpoints, including airports.

Neural networks can find telltale patterns in a person’s gait that can be used to recognize and identify them with almost perfect accuracy, according to new research published in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. The new system, called SfootBD, is nearly 380 times more accurate than previous methods, and it doesn’t require a person to go barefoot in order to work. It’s less invasive than other behavioral biometric verification systems, such as retinal scanners or fingerprinting, but its passive nature could make it a bigger privacy concern, since it could be used covertly.

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Source: Gizmodo