Mona Lisa frown: Machine learning brings old paintings and photos to life

Machine learning researchers have produced a system that can recreate lifelike motion from just a single frame of a person’s face, opening up the possibility of animating not just photos but also of paintings. It’s not perfect, but when it works, it is — like much AI work these days — eerie and fascinating.

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Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition sale ban to governments

Amazon shareholders have rejected two proposals that would have requested the company not to sell its facial recognition technology to government customers. The breakdown of the votes is not immediately known. A filing with the vote tally is expected later this week. The first proposal would have requested Amazon to limit the sale of its […]

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Amazon under greater shareholder pressure to limit sale of facial recognition tech to the government

This week could mark a significant setback for Amazon’s facial recognition business if privacy and civil liberties advocates — and some shareholders — get their way. Months earlier, shareholders tabled a resolution to limit the sale of Amazon’s facial recognition tech giant calls Rekognition to law enforcement and government agencies. It followed accusations of bias […]

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Daily Crunch: SF bans agencies from using facial recognition tech

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. San Francisco passes city government ban on facial recognition tech The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Aaron […]

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Yes, Americans can opt-out of airport facial recognition. Here’s how

Whether you like it or not, facial recognition tech to check in for your flight will soon be coming to an airport near you. Over a dozen U.S. airports are already rolling out the technology, with many more to go before the U.S. government hits its target of enrolling the largest 20 airports in the […]

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Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million

One of China’s most ambitious artificial intelligence startups Megvii, more commonly known for its facial recognition brand Face++, announced Wednesday that it has raised $750 million in a Series D funding round. Founded by three graduates from the prestigious Tsinghua University in China, the eight-year-old company specializes in applying its computer vision solutions to a […]

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Passbase is building a full stack identity engine with privacy baked in

Digital identity startup Passbase has bagged $600k in pre-seed funding led by a group of business angel investors from Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins, EY; as well as seed fund investment from Chicago-based Upheaval Investments and Seedcamp. The 2018-founded Silicon Valley-based startup — whose co-founder we chatted to briefly on camera at Disrupt Berlin — is […]

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Bipartisan bill proposes oversight for commercial facial recognition

On Thursday, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt introduced a bill designed to offer legislative oversight for commercial applications of facial recognition technology. Known as the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act, the bill would obligate companies to inform consumers about any use of facial recognition and proposes limiting companies from freely sharing […]

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China’s authorities propose to keep minors out of live streaming

China is getting serious about the way live streaming videos affect tens of millions of youngsters, so much so a top authority has proposed to tighten restrictions on underage use. According to a report from the China Youth Daily, the Communist Party-controlled All Youth Federation recently submitted a proposal during the once-a-year parliamentary session, urging […]

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When surveillance meets incompetence

Last week brought an extraordinary demonstration of the dangers of operating a surveillance state — especially a shabby one, as China’s apparently is. An unsecured database exposed millions of records of Chinese Muslims being tracked via facial recognition — an ugly trifecta of prejudice, bureaucracy, and incompetence.

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