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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Assessing impact of using facial recognition technology

In a previous video I talked about the importance of assessing the impact of technology before adopting it. Today I want to talk to you about the impact of increased use of facial recognition technology. You may have already heard about the use of facial recognition technology to detect the mix of male and female customers at bars. Facial recognition technology is also used to identify people on the street or in a crowd.

Facial recognition is what is known as biometrics, which is identification of people from some features of their body such as fingerprint, iris pattern, or facial characteristics. No matter what biometrics we pick, if you stop and think about it for a moment, you would realize that your fingerprint or facial image does not come with your name stamped on it. Rather, somewhere in a computer system your facial image and your name are linked together. That linkage between your name and your facial image must be correct to begin with and the information must be stored securely.
Additionally, facial recognition systems are not error-free and there is a potential for misidentification.
So, as much as facial recognition is useful, it is not error-free. Therefore, you need some protection when the facial recognition technology misidentifies you as someone else. You need some way of correcting the mistake.
There is also the potential of someone trying to fool a facial recognition system by presenting, for example, a photograph or a video of you as your face. Something has to be done to detect such misuse and not accept a photograph as substitute for a face. It’s not easy to overcome this problem because facial recognition system identifies people from photographs or videos.
This means that if you are using facial recognition technology to identify customers or perhaps suspected criminals, you have to make sure that appropriate security precautions are in place to protect the linkage between a person’s facial image and their identity information and that the information is correct in the first place. You must also provide some sort of recourse when someone is misidentified.

Here's some more information to help you...
You may find my previous videos on technology impact assessment and biometric technology helpful:

NBTMV - On the need to assess impact of technology...

NBTMV on using biometric technologies to identify ...

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to lose weight - a story to motivate you

If you want to lose weight, here's a story to help and motivate you.

I always knew that good food with fewer calories and exercise are important to manage your weight, but when he was young did not follow this advice. My diet included lots of rice and very little exercise. So, over many years, bit by bit, I gained weight. When I was 44, my weight was over 200 pounds. Around this time, I had a stroke of good luck. My youngest daughter wanted to run in a 5K race and asked me to run with her. I agreed and started running on the treadmill to get ready for the race. Soon I was running five kilometers in less than 30 minutes ans was so proud that I could run five kilometers!

At the same time, I saw a TV show where a doctor discussed how to improve your diet. He said it is important to eat plenty of vegetables, fish and white meat. I changed my diet after watching that program. I substituted rice in my diet with green leafy vegetables. For breakfast and lunch I ate vegetable and chicken (or fish) soup. For dinner, I ate salads with fish and grilled salmon (but without any dressing). But I made sure that I ate the same volume of food as before, so I was not hungry even though I was eating salads instead of rice. By the way, I also started drinking black tea instead of coffee with milk and sugar.

So, overall, I made two changes at the same time: started doing more exercises and reduced the calorie intake (because the veggies had less calories than rice). The body responded by losing weight. Within a few weeks I lost over 30 pounds. I really liked this because I could see the results very soon. I could also continue the program of diet and exercise because I was not hungry. I really felt better than I ever felt before.

Even though I have been continuing this program since 2003, my weight has gone up some. Over the past eight years, I have gained weight about 8 pounds. But it’s still a great way to lose weight and manage your health. When I think why the weight has gone up despite maintaining about the same diet and exercise, all I can think is that the body has a mind of its own and it fights your attempts to lose weight.

If you are thinking about trying to lose weight, I recommend that you make two changes in your life: start an exercise program and change your diet by replacing carbohydrates with veggies. Stop eating too much rice or pasta and eat a lot of salads with fish (or chicken) but skip the dressing .Remember that to succeed you should eat the same amount of food as you ate before making these changes because it is very important to not be hungry. Good luck!

Here's some more information to help you...
You may find my previous video on weight loss helpful:
To lose weight, think of the human body as a syste...

Cómo perder peso

Si quieres perder el peso, aquí está una historia para ayudarte y motivarte.

Siempre sabía que buena alimentación con menos calorias y ejercicios eran importantes para manejar su peso, pero cuando era joven no seguía este consejo. Comía mucho arroz y hacía poco ejercicios. Así que, hace muchos años, poco a poco, me gané peso. Cuando tenía 44 años, pesaba más de 200 libras. Al rededor de este tiempo, fue una buena suerte que mi hija menor queria correr en una carrera de cinco kilometros y me pidió aue la acompañara. Estaba de acuerdo a correr con mi hija y empecé a correr en la cinta para estar listo. Muy pronto estaba corriendo cinco kilometros en menos que 30 minutos. Estaba orgulloso de poder correr bastante rapído como eso.

Al mismo tiempo, ví un programa de televisión donde un doctor discutió comó mejorar su dieta. Se dijo que es importante para comer muchas verduras, pescado, y carne blanco. Decidí cambiar mi dieta despues de ver ese programa. Sustituí arroz in mi dieta con verduras de hoja verde. Para el desayuno y para el almuerzo comía sopa de verduras y pollo. Para la cena, comía las verduras con pescado como el salmón a la parilla. Es como una ensalada sin aderoso. La comida tenía el mismo volumen como antes de cambiar la dieta. Asi que no tenía hambre a pesar de que comía verduras en lugar de arroz.

Así que hice dos cambios al mismo tiempo, hacer mas ejercicios y reducir las calorias de comidas. El cuerpo respondió con la perdida de peso. En unas semanas perdí más de 30 libras. Me gustó mucho porque pude ver los resultados en poco tiempo. Podía continuar el programa de dieta y ejercicio porque no tenía hambre. De verdad me sentía mejor que antes.

Aunque continuaba esta programa desde 2003 el peso se sube un poco. En los últimos ocho años el peso aumentó 7 u 8 libras. Sin embargo este ha sido un buen método para perder peso y manejar tu salud. Cuando pienso en porque el peso sube a pesar de las mismas dietas y ejercicios, creo que el cuerpo tiene una mente propia y lucha contra de bajar el peso.

Todavia si no trata de manejar el peso, te recomiendo que hagas dos cambios en tu vida: comienza un programa de ejercicio y al mismo tiempo cambia tu dieta reduciendo los carbohidratos. Deja de comer demasiado arroz o tortillas y come mucho ensaladas con pescado (o pollo) pero sin aderezo. Recuerda que para tener éxito debes comer el mismo volumen de comida que comías antes de hacer estos cambios porque es muy importante no tener hambre.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NBTMV on using biometric technologies to identify people

Biometric technologies use specific features of your body such as fingerprint, facial image, iris pattern, or even the geometry of your hand, to identify you.  Assessing the impact of using biometrics depend on the exact type of use. If your laptop has a fingerprint reader where you swipe your finger to log in, then all we may need to worry about is the possibility that the system somehow could not match your fingerprint with what was previously stored in the system, in which case, there should be some alternate method for logging into the laptop.

On the other hand, if biometric technology such as facial recognition is used to identify a person from among millions in a database, then we have to think about many more things.

For  starters, you know that your fingerprint or facial image or iris pattern do not come with your name stamped on the it, which means that some computer system has to store your identifying information with your biometric features.  That association must be correct when it’s initially stored (meaning that your biometrics are linked to your identifying information) and the information must be securely stored and maintained.

Next, we have to consider the potential of errors in the system that compares and matches your biometric features such as your fingerprint or your facial image with information stored in a database. There is a possibility of misidentification where someone else’s biometric may be identified as yours or vice versa. This means that we need to provide some redress mechanism for anyone who is misidentified. This is especially important if the biometric is being used to look for a criminal, for example, and you are mistakenly tagged as that criminal.

Another potential problem is when someone intentionally tries to fool the system by presenting, for example, a photograph of you as that your facial image.

These are among some of the issues that we need to consider when assessing the impact of using biometric technologies to identify people.

Here's some more information to help you...
In 2002 GAO had published the following report that assesses use of biometric technologies for improving border security:
GAO-03-174, Nov 15, 2002

There are a number of books on biometric technologies as well: