Are You Good At Remembering Faces? Scotland Yard Wants You
Since 2011, the London agency has employed a team of "super-recognizers" who have an exceptional memory for faces. Despite their success, legal experts say their use could raise questions about what's considered allowable testimony in court.
What's the Latest Development?
London's Scotland Yard can lay claim to a unique group of police officers, all of whom share the same ability: They never forget a face. Known as "super recognizers," they are able to identify individuals from surveillance photos and videos with surprising accuracy. Says unit creator Mick Neville: "When we have an image of an unidentified criminal, I know exactly who to ask instead of sending it out to everyone and getting a bunch of false leads." They have even helped prevent some crimes from taking place: During a major carnival, officers scanned surveillance videos and pointed out known criminals, after which police presence was increased as a preemptive measure.
What's the Big Idea?
Unlike with fingerprints and DNA, Scotland Yard had no system in place that allowed identification from images. Despite their success, the super recognizers are human and therefore imperfect, which concerns legal experts like London School of Economics professor Mike Redmayne: "Unless we subject them to (rigorous testing), then we are just taking their word on trust and we have no reason to do this." However, University of Greenwich psychologist Josh Davis is impressed by their abilities, and is in the process of examining the officers in hopes of developing a test the agency can use for new recruits.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.