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Author Topic: A bad application of computer graphics  (Read 3601 times) Bookmark and Share
Max
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« on: Mar 07, 2011, 04:53:09 pm »

http://www.gizmag.com/software-developed-to-match-police-sketches-to-mug-shots/18060/

A computer system being pioneered at Michigan State University automatically matches faces in police sketches to mug shots.

"After looking through hundreds of mug shots, however, it's possible that the tired-brained witness could look right at a photo of the guilty party and not recognize them. It's also possible that there is a mug shot of the criminal on a database somewhere out there, but that this particular witness will never see it."

As I always like to say, what could possibly go wrong? Here's what:

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/resources/2006/10/anchorman-rapist2.jpg

You laugh, but what if he didn't have an alibi? This is going to cause a lot of trouble, mark my words. Witnesses are NOTORIOUSLY bad and so are their sketches.
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UnrealEd
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 09, 2011, 02:24:16 pm »

Love it!

It all depends on how it's going to be used: the program can be helpfull in limiting the number of mug shots a victim or witness has to go through. If the investigators are just going to copy the result of the program, results will be devastating for numerous innocent people, like you said.

We laugh with the second picture, but it's because we see the resemblance between the sketch and the tv-show host, so in all fairness we make the same mistake as the software. Further investigations should exclude an innocent person, and that only depends on the detectives and policemen, not on the software...
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Max
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 09, 2011, 08:26:52 pm »

I have to say, I hate the inevitable rise of this kind of "automated law enforcement" stuff. It's why I hate speed cameras- not because I speed (I don't) but because I don't want to be policed by a computer.

If there's a world coming where every infraction of every law is caught, I can only hope I die before it happens. Not because I'm a lawbreaker...but because humans are imperfect and computers aren't. To expect us to live up to their standard is a sad mistake. I don't want to abide by the computer's rules. A perfectly policed world would be hell on earth in my opinion.

As for witnesses, there is nothing as unreliable as an eyewitness. Most people think they know what they've seen, but tests show again and again that eyewitness reports have about the same reliability as random choice. Sad
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