Discriminator: an interactive documentary about facial recognition algorithms trained on Flickr’s facial database

Webcam on!

Mirror face

Discriminator is an interactive doc split into chapters, directed by Brett Gaylor who also acts as the co-subject (with you being the other) and it looks at the ways Flickr’s photo database was used to train facial recognition algorithms. The dataset was then downloaded by hundreds of companies including Microsoft and Panasonic.

The documentary was a wild trip and while I know about how harmful facial recognition technology can be, I didn’t realise that Flickr/Yahoo! had created a Creative Commons-licenced corpus of millions of faces to help.I’ve used Flickr for featured images on this site (all CC, mostly CC0 or public domain) but haven’t had my own account on there for years. Then I remembered, I had one with images of my face around the time the database was built. So who knows if/when/how they used some of my holiday pics from Barcelona in 2007.

Stream it on the official Discriminator website.

Author: lukealexdavis

Luke Davis is a music producer and writer. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis, playing Pokémon, reading and admiring architecture.

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