Producing media with face-recognition

Interactive media has become a sci-fi movie. Or, that is the premise of this NYTimes article, “Face recognition makes the leap from sci-fi.” It discusses the uses and implications of face recognition software.

What’s interesting about it as far as media production goes, is that it isn’t exclusive to one medium. It can be incorporated into apps, social media and advertising, as the article demonstrates. But I bet it’s only a matter of time until it gets used in ways we can’t yet fathom. Television? Movies? Airport security?

I remember when I could first had the option to sort through my Picasa photos so that the program would begin to recognize people in my photos when I imported them. At the time I did it for the novelty and wow factor, but then quickly grew bored of it. What good did it do me to have my photos labeled? I already knew who all the people in my pictures were.

But obviously it had much further-reaching implications. Now I want to think more broadly about what face-recognition could do for my own media production.

As always, and as the NYTimes pointed out, there are privacy issues at hand. But as always, I don’t know how to deal with those, so I let other people worry about them. Unfortunately it sure seems that anything powerful can be used for both good and bad.

The point is, I want to consider how this could be incorporated into good media production. If face-recognition software can go so far as to predict the makeup of a crowd, could it be used to gather statistics about supporters for nonprofit events? Or perhaps face-recognition software placed in a hospital could bring up your medical history and help move things along more quickly or direct patients where to go. Maybe an app could do something as simple as allow a user to scan a room for someone who needs help. I don’t really know what the capabilities will be, and I bet there will be a lot of useless stuff that comes along with anything useful.

Most interesting is how these media continue to integrate more with each innovation.

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