I know I’ve mentioned this film before, but then again, many a time Hollywood is the inspiration to technological developments. It all starts out with an outrageous idea, and somehow, somewhere it gets done a little while after. Anyway, remember Minority Report? There’s a scene in which Tom Cruise walks into the Gap and his eyes are scanned. Immediately after an autoresponse machine welcomes him by name and offers him whatever’s new on his usual tastes. Now, although it sounds so cool because then you don’t have a clerk chasing you around the store to see what you are interested in, it’s also a little creepy if you think about it.
Thanks to technological advancements, this scene would be wow-ing to materialize, but in reality, it wouldn’t be surprising. We’re just a step away from that all thanks to giants like Google. But its precisely Google who is countering this type of advancement. Just recently, Google admitted that in this day and age there’s enough technology to develop face recognition to be available for the general public. Now, first off, it’s a bit different from the scene I described, for it was retina recognition, not facial. Secondly, this technology is already available for governments around the world, like CCTV in the UK. However, unless you have some weird connections, this tech isn’t out there for regular people to purchase.
You see, they do have a strong point. Even though it still represents a risk, this technology is safe in the hands of governments (insert doubtful smirk in here), but to give it to anyone? What if it falls in the wrong hands? A lot of debating has been going on about privacy over the net. There have been multiple attempts to stop further development. Enough of our lives already depend on computers, but then again it makes life easier if a computer already knows what you want. Facebook has had an endless headache on this topic.
What if all this goes a step further? Will it be save? Will we get over it as we have with other similar issues in the past? As I look at it, although things like these have severe reluctance from a lot of people, in the end, they have their way. It would bring a great number of advantages but also of risks. How long will it be until we have facial recognition opened up to the world? It has its risks, and great power. It’s like it is said, with great power, comes great responsibility.