Relating: cute or creepy? A pro-facial recognition company thinks its software could potentially be used to put a matchmaker in touch with someone suitable. Identifying potential love-interests based on facial features was an idea that Freud, in the 19th century, saw as a valuable tool for industrialisation.
A marketing company looking to promote its app for finding suitable potential dates by analysing video footage is running a promotion to try and publicise its service.
The Company Name features video footage, like that of an attractive woman in a window, and suggests that their software would be able to determine who was looking at the window and whether they could see the computer camera (made obsolete by the selfie).
The Marketing Mashup site states: “Video footage is usually not matched up properly and can make perfect matches, but what if it could do it automatically, to not miss the right people?”
This entry was left in the contest’s comments, which includes a number of jibes and generally negative responses.
In an online survey which is being sent to contest applicants, the marketing company cites a Luton academic to back up its claim that the software can successfully match potential mates.
Dr Elizabeth Hodgson is involved in a study, which is “aimed at helping facial recognition software overcome human frailties”.
Some of her academic work is listed on the website. Dr Hodgson has suggested that a “social network of activity” would be useful in “proactively generating a composite profile based on the picture of the people that have been generated by the video of your eyes, face, and watch area.”
They added that “a few keystrokes” on the software screen, which takes your picture, record the video, and can identify the blurred faces in video footage, could help create “a composite profile based on your face.”
Advertising standards watchdogs are not expected to frown on this sort of commercial or promotional promotion. These terms were even disclosed in the Advertising Standards Authority rules when a major company was allowed to fly in a group of cyclists to demonstrate how people using insurance based on anonymous, face-recognition data could be set up as imaginary companies, and advertise them. This recommendation was accepted by the ASA.
This entry suggests the software may be able to pull together data from various sources: including Facebook profiles, pictures, and locations of lives, allowing it to work out what someone is looking at.
The proposal to put one “matchmaker” in touch with one “intelligent” match in the Dating Finder contest raised concerns. The owner of the Dating Finder campaign (they were seeking one qualified person to put that into practice) wrote: “Our software can create personal match-makers to recognise the potential for love.”
Once the software programme was advanced enough to work out who could be a match in a software programme, this could be combined with insurance results to predict real life outcomes.
The software might also be able to accurately predict real life dating behaviour, but could not match them up with available dates.