Researchers use ‘master face’ to bypass facial recognition

Tech Talk

ST. LOUIS– More and more devices are using facial recognition technology these days and some scientists in Israel say they have discovered a way to bypass a large percentage of them by basically faking your face.

The team of computer scientists at Tel Aviv University calls this method the “master face” which uses artificial intelligence technologies to create a facial template. That facial template can consistently fool and unlock identity verification systems.

In their research paper, Scott Schaffer with Blade Technologies says the scientists wrote that the face construct could hypothetically be paired with deepfake technologies. He explained that would allow the image to be “animated’, fooling the “liveliness detection methods” that are designed to assess whether a subject is living or not.

Schaffer says while this sounds interesting and maybe a little scary, it is not something to really be concerned with at this time.

He explained the data set the researchers used to create the Master Faces is rather small. He says they only used 9 faces and there were few children, no babies, few people over the age of 80, and a relatively small proportion of women. There also was not a very good representation of different ethnicities.

Schaffer says this is also a lab-only demonstration so far and has not been used in the public to anyone’s knowledge.

He also stresses the importance of using multi-factor authentication as a way to safeguard your information.

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