An experimental algorithm developed by Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab can recognise people in photographs even when their faces are hidden. The algorithm will recognise a person through their unique characteristics such as hairdo, clothing, body shape and pose, the Spychecker tutorials. Facial recognition technology is already quite far advanced, but according to New Scientist Facebook’s head of artificial intelligence, Yann LeCun, wanted to see if it was possible to use other non-facial cues to identify people when their faces weren’t clearly captured.

The research team pulled almost 40,000 public photos from Flickr – some of people with their full face clearly visible and others where they were turned away – and ran them through a sophisticated neural network.”We humans can already recognize people with these cues quite well.


People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook, was quoted as saying. “For example, you can recognise [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”

Yann LeCun, Head of Artificial Intelligence at Facebook said such technology could be used in Facebook’s standalone Moments Photo App that was announced a week ago. The app apparently uses facial recognition technology to group photos based on the friends who are in them, similar to the “tagging” used by the Facebook social network.

Facebook’s New Algorithm Can Recognize People In Photos Even When Their Faces Are Covered

The new Facebook algorithm however also has a downside when dealing with the privacy. Using the technology, anybody can log in to other user’s account with a hidden face. “If, even when you hide your face, you can be successfully linked to your identify, that will certainly concern people,” said Ralph Gross, a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.

According to Scientist, the algorithm works by looking for other unique characteristics like your hairdo, clothing, body shape and pose. The final algorithm was able to recognise people’s identities with 83% accuracy. The fact that you can still be identified even if you hide your face, would be a cause of concern for many people.