Facebook's face recognition AI is totally not scary, says Facebook

Dominic Lipinski  PA Images  Getty Images

Dominic Lipinski PA Images Getty Images

Facebook will let you know when someone posts a photo of you - even if you aren't tagged in it - becoming the latest tech giant to add more facial recognition technology into users' everyday lives.

When a photo of you has been posted, you will be alerted and given the option to tag yourself, leave yourself untagged or contact the person who posted the photo if you have concerns about it, Facebook announced in a release. The exception to this rule, however, is if someone uploads a photo of you as their profile picture.

Facebook introduced new facial recognition features on Tuesday.

There will also be a new on/off switch for all facial recognition features on Facebook.

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Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, director of applied machine learning at Facebook, notes that if you are in a photo and are part of the audience for the post, you'll now be notified, even if you haven't been tagged.

You will only be notify if the post was shared with you. The idea is to prevent people from impersonating others on the social network. "When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template".

For users who are not convinced that the multibillion-dollar corporation has their best interests at heart, Facebook is adding a simple on/off button for its facial recognition features, which users can access through their account settings. Those in the European Union and Canada, meanwhile, don't even get the choice to begin with, as Facebook doesn't offer its face recognition technology due to data sharing and privacy legislation.

The same technology is also being used for a new tool that supports people with visual impairments.

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Since you might not want Facebook's AI out there looking for you, there's also a way to turn it off.

Facebook will also allow users to ignore a conversation in Messenger and move it out of your inbox without having to block the sender.

"The words "face recognition" can make some people feel uneasy, conjuring dystopian scenes from science fiction", wrote Rob Sherman, Facebook's deputy chief privacy officer. "We've also heard from groups that work with survivors of domestic violence that being able to see messages is often a valuable tool to assess if there is risk of additional abuse".

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