Technology September 30, 2011
U.S. Army Developing Drones that Can Recognize Your Face and Intentions

Remember 'Enemy of the State', the Will Smith/Gene Hackman explosion-fest from way back in 1998? Lots of plot points in that flick were based on the idea that shadowy government agencies had access to advanced technology that would let them automatically track people based on their facial structure. Science fiction, right? Well, maybe then...

In the present day, the U.S. military has handed out a half-dozen contracts to firms who are working on unmanned spy drones capable of tracking targets based on facial features. The technology's pretty advanced: it uses 2D pictures to construct a 3D model of a person's face. The company behind it - Progeny Systems Corporation - claims they only need one two-dimensional image with about 50 pixels between a target's eyes to create a 3D model that will allow them to track the person in question.

And they're not just looking at faces, either - they're also examining emotions. That's right: a company called Charles River Analytics used their U.S. military money to develop technology that, through a combination of informants' tips, drone footage, and captured phone calls, creates "intent-based threat assessments of individuals and groups." Basically, they say they can find out which people are most likely to harbor ill will toward the U.S. military and its objectives.

So if you've got any evil thoughts in your heart, you might want to watch the skies, and try to avoid doing anything bad. Ever. In fact, that sounds kind of like another Hollywood movie from a few years back:


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