Regular readers will know I am skeptical self-driving cars are just around the corner, in part due to the limitations on computers being able to interpret visual data. As I said before:
The recognition of objects by computers is still only in its infancy, and nowhere near robust enough to deploy in any safety-critical system. Given the pace of development of other areas of computing abilities, such as sound recognition in apps like Shazam, object recognition is seriously lagging behind and I suspect for very good reasons: software, being made up of pre-programmed algorithms, simply isn’t very good at it.
Computers are unable to do this for anything other than the most basic of pre-determined objects and scenarios, while the environment in which humans operate their cars is fiendishly complex.
Via Tim Worstall, I found this story:
Amazon’s facial recognition technology falsely identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for crimes, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
There are clearly instances where facial recognition technology works, but it’s still not very good and I suspect will remain that way for any conditions which are not perfect (i.e. good light, looking face-on, and of an expected skin colour) for some time yet. I’d be interested to know if the Chinese system which was deployed to fine jaywalkers works as claimed; it’s hard to believe anything which comes out of that country.