There are a few benefits that can be had from facial recognition technology being incorporated into classrooms.
This however, doesn't mean that its right and there are certainly privacy issues to consider.
Of course when it comes to students, for the most part they are justifiably horrified at being monitored as they move throughout the school during the day.
The question needing to be asked is, does the good outweigh the bad?
Well there are some things that would make teacher's lives easier. For example, a roll marking system could be implemented quite easily.
Teachers could simply look at a tablet or iPad and confirm once a day instead of being signed off on a paper roll. It all boils down to how the technology is applied.
There is some evidence that a lot of good could come from using the technology in classroooms to a certain extent but personally, I'm not quite sold.
Trials have already begun in independent schools in NSW and up to 100 campuses across Australia. According to the developers, the technology promises to save teachers up to 2.5 hours a week by replacing the need for them to mark the roll at the start of every class.
Furthermore I don't believe using the fact that we already are subject to this technology in everyday life should be used as a logical justification that it should be used in schools.
Many students now have smart phones that recognise faces right now. There are also downloadable face recognition apps for Android phones and iPhones. So face recognition is already in our schools.
If you are unfamiliar with the topic in general, basically facial recognition technology applies the use of a camera to capture a face and match it with a database to determine identity.
First, the face or faces must be detected and localised in the camera frame. Then, face images are aligned and rescaled to a standard size. Finally, these faces are matched against a database. Matching is almost invariably performed using artificial intelligence technology.
I'm definitely not arguing that technology isn't cool. It certainly is cool. But I remember going to school and having a certain amount of privacy. Many would argue that this comes at the expense of safety which may be true. But it all boils down to how much importance we place on privacy. Do we really want to live in a world where big brother sees and knows everything we do? Can we trust that the same big brother wouldn't use that information for nefarious purposes?
These are questions that definitely need to be thought about before proceeding further in my opinion.
Many have said we are currently living in a 'golden age' of innovation when it comes to facial recognition technology.
The main reason for rapid adoption is recognition accuracy has improved astronomically in recent years with 20 times better accuracy from 2014 to 2018.
But just because something can be used doesn't necessarily mean it should be used. What kind of future do we want to make for people. Is technology such as the one described in this article something that will bring about a utopia or more likely a dystopian wasteland?
Humanity has always had a sort of way of leaping before we look and for the most part that strategy has worked quite well as a species but it only takes a big enough fall to end it all. As a habit going forward, lets make sure to look before we leap!
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Thanks for reading!
Authored by @techblogger