Israeli facial recognition technology developer AnyVision has filed a patent, which would allow drones to change the angle of their flight, so that a mounted camera would be able to a better picture of a person, and thus improve facial recognition. The drone would be able to match the picture with the faces in its databank using AI. The patent describes the use of the technology as for "smart cities."
According to "Forbes" the patent was filed in August 2019 by AnyVision but has only now been published. AnyVision's newly appointed CEO Avi Golan said, "I think it's more futuristic technology, but I want to have it in the back of my pocket once it’s more accepted by humanity."
The "Forbes" article mentions that two US government agencies - th Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) are both trying to develop similar facial recognition technologies.
However, AnyVision insists it is not working with these agencies and tries to dispel fears that it sees its technology being applied in defense situations. The company says it is only working with commercial organizations such as retail chains, sports stadia, airports and casinos.
To further reinforce its image as a company developing civilian rather than military technologies, AnyVision last year spun off its machine vision military activities into a partnership with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. called SightX.
This step was taken after Microsoft withdrew its investment in the company after claims that AnyVision's technology was being used for mass tracking of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. Microsoft said that as a minority shareholder, it was unable to supervise the activities of the company, even though its investigations had not uncovered any evidence against mass tracking by AnyVision.
AnyVision explains that there is a substantial difference between the way in which police use facial recognition technology and the way in which commercial systems operate. The company says that police obtain a picture of a suspect at a crime scene and then try to identify the person in the picture in its extensive image databank.
AnyVision says that in contrast, "Commercial facial recognition products such as those used by supermarkets answer other questions like is the person in the picture on the list of company employees? Or is the person in the picture on the list of criminals known to the police? In order to answer these questions you don't need a big database but a defined and restricted list of the supermarket's employees, or a list tracking specific people that have an arrest order or prevention order against them."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2021
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