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Paper masks fool facial recognition programs

February 10, 2020

Researchers at an artificial intelligence company said they were able to fool facial recognition software at an airport and mobile payment kiosks using a printed mask.

3 min read

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Paper masks fool facial recognition programsPaper masks fool facial recognition programs

Facial recognition is being widely accepted as a security tool, as both law enforcement and corporations are implementing it to control who enters airports, stores and smartphones.

As a result, technology is fallible. Researchers at the artificial intelligence firm Kneron announced that they managed to fool some facial recognition systems using a printed mask that represents the face of a different person.

The researchers, who tested systems on three continents, said they cheated payment tablets managed by Chinese companies Alipay and WeChat, as well as a system at a border checkpoint in China. In Amsterdam, a printed mask tricked facial recognition at a passport control door at Schiphol airport, they said.

Investigators said their findings suggested that a person who prints a realistic mask similar to someone else might overlook security checkpoints to fly or buy on their behalf.

“Technology providers should be responsible if they do not protect users to the highest standards,” Kneron CEO Albert Liu said in a statement. “There are so many companies involved that highlights an industry-wide problem with poor facial recognition technology.”

However, some facial recognition programs were impervious to the printed mask test. Investigators said Apple's Face ID and the Huawei system passed the test; both use a more sophisticated technology known as structured light imaging . Kneron said his own facial recognition software also passes the test.

Investigators said the tests at the security checkpoints were conducted with the permission of the security guards who supervise them, suggesting that while humans are present to notice the mask, the facial recognition checkpoints They will not be completely insecure.

In the month after his mask study went viral, Kneron announced that he raised $ 73 million from investors such as Alibaba, Qualcomm and Horizons Ventures.

“We are excited to continue our journey with partners like Horizons Ventures who share our passion and dedication towards our mission of enabling AI on any device [and] democratizing AI,” Liu told Business Insider after the fundraiser was announced. .

This is the launch pad that Kneron used to raise $ 73 million.

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