Researchers are crawling the internet for photos of people wearing face masks to improve facial recognition algorithms.
our face mask selfies aren’t just getting seen by your friends and family — they’re also getting collected by researchers looking to use them to improve facial recognition algorithms. CNET found thousands of face-masked selfies up for grabs in public data sets, with pictures taken directly from Instagram.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a surge in people wearing face masks, and facial recognition companies are scrambling to keep up. Face masks cover up a significant portion of what facial recognition needs to identify and detect people — essentially threatening the future of a multimillion-dollar industry unless the technology can learn to recognize people beyond the coverings.
To do that, they need more masked photos to train their algorithms.