Facebook can recognize you almost as well as a human can

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Facebook still isn’t as good as humans when it comes to identifying people in photos, but it’s getting awfully close.

Facebook researchers published a paper last month in which they detailed the capabilities of a new artificial intelligence system known as “DeepFace.”

When asked whether or two photos show the same person, DeepFace answers correctly 97.25% of the time; that’s just a shade behind humans, who clock in at 97.53%.

Facebook already uses facial-recognition technology to suggest tags on photos uploaded by users; Google has similar technology for its Google+ social network. But DeepFace represents a big step forward.

Most current facial-recognition software struggles with images that don’t include clear, frontal views of their subjects. That’s not the case with DeepFace, which creates 3-D models of the faces in photos and then analyzes them using artificial-intelligence technology known as “deep learning.”

Deep learning systems mimic the structure of neurons in the brain to analyze large data sets and draw connections. The DeepFace system conducts its analysis based on more than 120 million different parameters.