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Does Facial Recognition Technology Mean the End of Privacy?
At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, researchers from Carnegie Mellon demonstrated how the same facial recognition technology used to tag Facebook photos could be used to identify random people on the street. This facial recognition technology, when combined with geo-location, could fundamentally change our notions of personal privacy. In Europe, facial recognition technology has already stirred up its share of controversy, with German regulators threatening to sue Facebook up to half-a-million dollars for violating European privacy rules. But it's not only Facebook - both Google (with PittPatt) and Apple (with Polar Rose) are also putting the finishing touches on new facial recognition technologies that could make it easier than ever before to connect our online and offline identities. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then your face is the window to your personal identity.
And it's for that reason that privacy advocates in both Europe and the USA are up in arms about the new facial recognition technology. What seems harmless at first - the ability to identify your friends in photos - could be something much more dangerous in the hands of anyone else other than your friends for one simple reason: your face is the key to linking your online and offline identities. It's one thing for law enforcement officials to have access to this technology, but what if your neighbor suddenly has the ability to snoop on you?
The researchers at Carnegie Mellon showed how a combination of simple technologies - a smart phone, a webcam and a Facebook account - were enough to identify people after only a three-second visual search. Hackers - once they can put together a face and the basics of a personal profile - like a birthday and hometown - they can start piecing together details like your Social Security Number and bank account information.
And the Carnegie Mellon technology used to show this? You guessed it - it's based on PittPatt (for Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition Technology), which was acquired by Google, meaning that you may soon be hearing the Pitter Patter of small facial recogntion bots following you around any of Google's Web properties. The photo in your Google+ Profile, connected seamlessly to video clips of you from YouTube, effortlessly linked to photos of your family and friends in a Picasa album - all of these could be used to identify you and uncover your private identity. Thankfully, Google is not evil.
Forget being fingerprinted, it could be far worse to be Faceprinted. It's like the scene from The Terminator, where Arnold Schwarzenegger is able to identify his targets by employing a futuristic form of facial recognition technology. Well, the future is here.
Imagine a complete stranger taking a photo of you and immediately connecting that photo to every element of your personal identity and using that to stalk you (or your wife or your daughter). It happened to reality TV star Adam Savage - when he uploaded a photo to his Twitter page of his SUV parked outside his home, he didn't realize that it included geo-tagging meta-data. Within hours, people knew the exact location of his home. Or, imagine walking into a store, and the sales floor staff doing a quick visual search using a smart phone camera, finding out what your likes and interests are via Facebook or Google, and then tailoring their sales pitch accordingly. It's targeted advertising, taken to the extreme.
Which is not to say that everything about facial recognition technology is scary and creepy. Gizmodo ran a great piece explaining all the "advantages" of being recognize onlined. (Yet, two days later, Gizmodo also ran a piece explaining how military spies could track you down almost instantly with facial recognition technology, no matter where you are in the world).
Which raises the important question: Is Privacy a Right or a Privilege? Now that we're all celebrities in the Internet age, it doesn't take much to extrapolate that soon we'll all have the equivalent of Internet paparazzi incessantly snapping photos of us and intruding into our daily lives. Cookies, spiders, bots and spyware will seem positively Old School by then. The people with money and privilege and clout will be the people who will be able to erect barriers around their personal lives, living behind the digital equivalent of a gated community. The rest of us? We'll live our lives in public.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.
- The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
- Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
- The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Seriously sustainable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDIzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjM4NTMzMX0.BCEfYnn6C3z1zUHIS38xOWjXktgamNBi5iyqklSMYK8/img.png?width=980" id="ea524" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50533380eeb18eb5833b6b6aa3abec38" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂ from air using <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90356326/we-have-the-tech-to-suck-co2-from-the-air-but-can-it-suck-enough-to-make-a-difference" target="_blank">carbon-capture technology</a>, and then combines it with water, nutrients and vitamins, using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner <a href="https://www.fortum.com" target="_blank">Fortum</a> to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.</p><p>When the company claims its single-celled protein is "free from agricultural limitations," they're not kidding. Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather.</p><p>The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption. (The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.) They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.</p><p>And let's not forget all those <a href="https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper" target="_blank">beef-free burgers</a> based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity. The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein — the company could provide companies that produce animal-free "meats," such as <a href="https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/" target="_blank">Beyond Meat</a> and <a href="https://impossiblefoods.com" target="_blank">Impossible Foods</a>, a way to further reduce their environmental impact.</p>
The larger promise<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDI0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjU4MTg2OX0.7dZZYT5WEV_EupBuLVFwHynarTiz8RYR9aJtC6Ts2C4/img.jpg?width=980" id="3415d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e6eebe06d795f844752f9e9d30040d7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>The impact of the beef — and for that matter, poultry, pork, and fish — industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and antibiotic-resistant illness. From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land, to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants, to the disruption of the marine food chain, to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals, it's been disastrous.</p><p>The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have, CO₂ and sunlight, <a href="https://solarfoods.fi/environmental-impact/" target="_blank">gets us out of the planet-destruction business</a> at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable, long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.</p>
Solar Foods' timetable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MTEzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5OTU1OTMwMn0.wnXh56iO_77x2XKV2uIPf78BKw4AJLUpmiyq_JBVGvo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=172%2C146%2C62%2C135&height=700" id="0297c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="125c9a98ec818f5c241fa28ef1423e67" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Lubsan / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.</p><p>The project began in 2018, and this year, they anticipate achieving three things: Launching Solein (check), beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU, and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.</p>
The protein powder Solein. Image source: SOLAR FOODS
SEAL training is the ultimate test of both mental and physical strength.
- The fact that U.S. Navy SEALs endure very rigorous training before entering the field is common knowledge, but just what happens at those facilities is less often discussed. In this video, former SEALs Brent Gleeson, David Goggins, and Eric Greitens (as well as authors Jesse Itzler and Jamie Wheal) talk about how the 18-month program is designed to build elite, disciplined operatives with immense mental toughness and resilience.
- Wheal dives into the cutting-edge technology and science that the navy uses to prepare these individuals. Itzler shares his experience meeting and briefly living with Goggins (who was also an Army Ranger) and the things he learned about pushing past perceived limits.
- Goggins dives into why you should leave your comfort zone, introduces the 40 percent rule, and explains why the biggest battle we all face is the one in our own minds. "Usually whatever's in front of you isn't as big as you make it out to be," says the SEAL turned motivational speaker. "We start to make these very small things enormous because we allow our minds to take control and go away from us. We have to regain control of our mind."
Pandemic-inspired housing innovation will collide with techno-acceleration.