No Smiling On Your Drivers License. It Makes Our Software Sad

from the the-computer-makes-me-frown dept

We’ve discussed in the past how absolutely useless most facial recognition systems are. Their error rates (both types of errors) are way too high to be even remotely useful. At best, they’re potentially (though, not definitely) useful for advertising purposes, where a false read isn’t that big of a deal. However, apparently some states are using facial recognition software to try to make sure the photo on the license matches with other photos of the individual — but the software sucks so bad that it can’t recognize faces when you smile. So, the states using the software, Arkansas, Indiana, Virginia, or Nevada are supposedly telling people they can no longer smile on their driver’s license photos. Apparently finding software that actually works wasn’t an option.

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Comments on “No Smiling On Your Drivers License. It Makes Our Software Sad”

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35 Comments
Tgeigs (profile) says:

Uh....

“Arkansas, Indiana, Virginia, or Nevada are supposedly telling people they can no longer smile on their driver’s license photos”

In all honesty, have you been to any of those places? With the extremely unlikely but possible exception of Nevada, what the hell would any citizens of those states have to smile about anyway? I think it’s actually a warning that anyone smiling is immediately considered suspicious…

Dallas Hinton says:

drivers' license

Here in BC we’ve been forbidden to smile for a number years. The same is true of our passport photos, with the added wrinkle that we can’t wear glasses either even though (in my wife’s case) she’s almost legally blind without them. Both of us have license restrictions requiring us to wear “corrective lenses when driving” but we can’t have our picture taken with them on! sheesh!

countd4 (profile) says:

Please do the research

Well-researched news is better than fling-it-against-the-wall hyperbole. Administrators in Arkansas have been fighting the “no smiling” rumor since it surfaced a week ago. See the article here http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-05-25-licenses_N.htm. “You just can’t grin really large,” Arkansas driver services chief Tonie Shields says. Arkansas doesn’t use facial recognition software. So that’s not quite the same as “no smiling”…

And I appreciate the slings and arrows for those who live here – but ignorance and prejudice knows no boundaries.

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