Esprit Rock

The computation artifact represents Brain++

The computation artifact represents Brain++, a facial recognition software1. The intended purpose of this innovation is to recognize specific faces in order to allow people to make payments/authorize transactions and help governments recognize criminals through security cameras2. Brain++ works/functions through measuring and storing different aspects of the face (e.g. size and shape of eyes, nose, distance between eyebrows and between eyes, etc.; specifically 83 different points on the face1) and turning this data into algorithms, which it draws from whenever the face is scanned in order to recognize it. An effect of this innovation is that it improves the economy by encouraging trade/transactions (as it makes transactions easier and safer to carry out). Another effect of the innovation is that it decreases crime by recognizing criminals in security cameras, making it easier for officials to find and arrest them1, and by discouraging people from committing crimes, as they would be aware that it would be hard to avoid the cameras, which could recognize their faces.

2b. My artifact is a video that I created using WeVideo. First, I found several pictures related to Face++ and pictures that give the viewer an idea as to how facial recognition works. Second, I order them in a way related to what I would be talking about during the period of time in which the picture appears on the screen. Third, I open up the voice recorder in the Media tab and then click the microphone symbol that follows to start and stop recording my audio and can listen to it by pressing the play button on the right side under a preview of my video. I can click the button with the check on the left when I am done recording, and if I don’t like the recording, I click the microphone icon again to replace the recording with a new recording. Finally, I adjust the pictures to fit the topics that I go through, adding zoom in effects where it fits aesthetically by double-clicking a picture, selecting the animation tab, and adjusting the starting scale and then selecting the ending scale.

One beneficial effect that Face++ has on the economy is that it makes transactions more secure (especially since it implements a “liveness test, which requires movement in order to prevent people from using pictures3) encourages people to buy, sell, lend, and engage in other economic activity, boosting the economy. A beneficial effect that Face++ has on society is that it allows governments to identify and locate criminals more easily and efficiently through surveillance cameras supplemented with the software1. However, one harmful effect that Face++ may have on society is the lack of privacy that people will have, as the software may cause a mass installation of surveillance cameras, which in turn would cause the software to track all of their movements. A harmful effect that Face++ may have on both society and culture as a result of the previous effect is that people may be too afraid to act like their normal selves, knowing they are constantly being recorded.

My computational innovation, Face++, needs facial data (e.g. distance between different parts of the face; size of different parts of the face)1 to work, which it consumes from pictures and videos1, and measures different aspects of the face (like those aforementioned), combining the aspects/measurements and transforming them into algorithms, which it stores in its database and feeds to its deep-learning engine, known as Brain++3. An update to the software now allows people to pay for goods with their faces, allowing people to simply “smile for the camera” in order to confirm a transaction2, and another new update allows government agencies to identify suspected criminals through surveillance cameras1. The software matches the data, which is changed into requirements/aspects of the previously-scanned face, with the face now being recorded in order to identify the person later1. A privacy concern with the innovation is that the government will be able to track your movements through security cameras supplemented with the software.