A.I. Can Identify Pixelated, Blurred Faces When Humans Can’t

Three researchers at Cornell Tech in New York City have discovered that blurred and pixelated images are no match for artificial intelligence. Though obscured images remain incomprehensible to human eyes, and so seem to protect their sensitive content, neural networks can often tell exactly who’s who in the original image. In other words, humans are no longer the litmus test. We can no longer ask merely whether something defeats all human brains. A.I.s — even simple A.I.s — can outperform humans, so defeating them, too, must always be part of the equation. The Cornell Tech researchers’ study focused on testing privacy-preserving algorithms, which blur or pixelates certain information or parts of pictures. Previously, we trusted privacy-preserving software or algorithms implicitly, figuring that the information they obscured was secure because no…


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