20191018 Facial recognition. Grrr

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Grab (an online car booking service) has just added photo (aka facial) recognition to its app.

It just took me five minutes for it to take a photo it was happy with.

I’m not.

I was squinting trying to read a message that flashed up on the screen saying that I had to move my head this way or that. It’s in tiny letters. It’s on screen for a moment. My tired old eyes can’t see it so I had to take off my glasses, then when I tried to put them back on it told me that my face was out of position in a different way, or that it was too dark, or too bright.

Now it’s done but I have no doubt that next time it won’t pair me with the photo because I might not squint, or contort my face, or be clean shaven, might have stubble or a full beard or have longer or shorter hair which may or may not have fallen over one eye. I might be grumpy with a fish face or having a laugh with my mouth open. I might have a beer moustache or my glasses may be in my hand while I peer at the screen. I might be outside in the midday sun (well, I am English) or I might be in a dingy pub (ditto).

If this is the way I’m going to have to use tech for all kinds of things, my phone’s going to find itself being flushed down the toilet.