Incognito, no longer…

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"Still looking to hide in plain sight? Good luck. It is about to go from hard to impossible."

Reading some of the tech blogs, one of the next big battlegrounds will be facial recognition (known as "facial rec"). This rapidly evolving science, along with more refined voice recognition, is quickly doing away with our ability to "hide in main sight". Want to be incognito? Good luck with that one! Right now, even smart phones are getting ready to have facial rec on them. It is becoming almost a fool proof way to ID someone instantly, anywhere.
This is just a small sample on how we are tripping into this brave new world which is evolving beneath our feet. What is driving it? It starts out with our good friend, Artificial Intelligence (AI). But there is much more to that story.
Do you know that AI, although it is a term used frequently these days, is somewhat of an antiquated term? AI, has been around for a few decades now, and is still being used. But AI needs help from human interfacing to perform. So, we move on to the next platform (so to speak). That would be Machine Learning. Machine Learning is similar to AI, except the human interface is no longer needed. Given a finite set of parameters, a machine can "learn" on its own.
But the next platform, which we will be hearing about more and more in the near future, is Deep Learning. Deep Learning is like Machine Learning, only the parameters it can learn from are no longer infinite. Any data base can be accessed for the machine to learn from. Now we are talking "1984" on steroids.
Back to facial rec. Using Deep Learning, finding someone's true identity will be easy peasy. When my wife and I go on a cruise, the cruise line uses facial rec when we first check in. That way, every time we debark or embark, we are instantly ID'd by our facial rec. Soon, it will be in the airports, in schools, at places of employment - everywhere. If you are a bad actor, trying to hide from the law, good luck on that one!
Wait a minute! That is what a Constitutional scholar might say. Is this not a violation of our Fourth Amendment? Having your face scanned without your permission might be classified as an "unreasonable search" of you identity. Good question! But here we are again, on that familiar battlefield. Technology vs. rights. Get ready to lawyer up!
Facial rec is not 100% accurate yet, but it is getting close. For example, every time I post a pic of the President on social media, it tags a FB friend of mine who is not the President. But Deep Learning will soon fix glitches such as that.
Still looking to hide in plain sight? Good luck. It is about to go from hard to impossible.