Very expensive & very fragile

I just received a link about Facial Recognition beating masks that gave me a flashback...


Remember in the 80s...the good old days...when the only thing trying to kill us was World War 3?


US President Ronald Reagan proposed a solution to the threat of global nuclear war posed by the proliferation of ICBMs - Star Wars.



No, not the movies, the anti-missile defense shield.


Properly knows as SDI - Strategic Defense Initiative it was supposed to make ICBMs obsolete by shooting them down before they could explode their warheads.


SDI was going to be very expensive and very complex.


No-one knew if any of it, let alone all of it, would work.


America's best and brightest set to work on it but it seems they couldn't even get the SDI toilets right*.


SDI included, among other things, ground and space based lasers that were supposed to shoot down incoming ICBMs.


However, at some point it was realised that it was ridiculously simple to disable these lasers. If you could get them to work in the first place that is (that's a whole other story).


All it took was a few grains of sand.


You see, the mirrors that lasers use have to be perfect. It they absord any energy from a chip or fault they'll overheat and destroy themselves before they get around to doing anything else.


All it would take is one satellite to release sand particles ahead of a proposed missile strike and the system would be rendered useless.


I was reminded of this in the context of facial recognition because it too is veryeasy to beat.


Yet it is being rolled out all over the world and being used for all sorts of deeds both good and bad.


Naturally this has cropped up because of COVID 19 and everyone wearing masks for health reasons.


Like a Black Mirror episode gone rogue, China has implemented a "Social Credits" system that will most likely one day include facial recognition in public places (if it doesn't already).


Obviously this is scary stuff.


It is a different kind of scary when you consider that someone could be doing things with your face. No, not that, this...


Hyper realistic face masks used to be a thing of Hollywood fiction, but now everyone can have them.


You can buy them from this guy (pictured above) or even make your own with a 3D printer and some painting skills.


You can look at it as civil disobedience until it is your face that's robbed a bank or worse.


So, much like SDI's laser defense system, Facial Recognition is also easily defeated and easily made to destroy itself (kind-of).


It seems really obvious once you think about it. If something wants to recognise your face - put a mask on.


But it is going to be hard to argue someone used your face....wait...or will it be easier to argue that now that you can buy faces?


One thing is for sure, it is all going to be very confusing and a big hassle (if you can call wrongful conviction "a hassle").


Have fun (whoever you are),

David


P.S. I've done this a few times. See if you can spot my mask...





* I had a friend who had worked on a part of SDI. The people he worked for built a really smart super secure building. It was designed in concentric rings with each ring being more secure than the last. When you got to the middle of the building, that's where all the really, really, really secret stuff was. But the design of the building failed to include toilets. So everyone had to go in and out of the building all the time, thus rendering any security advantage moot. It sounds unlikely that a building could be built without any toilets, but that's wht he told me. He was there, I wasn't.





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