Every time someone enters one of the 18 shops using the tech cameras scan their faces. These CCTV images are converted to numerical data and compared against a watchlist of ‘suspects’ to see if there’s a match. If a match is made, staff within the store receive notifications on smartphones.
“The system alerts our store teams immediately when someone enters their store who has a past record of theft or anti-social behaviour,” Gareth Lewis, Southern Co-op’s loss prevention lead wrote in a blog post on the Facewatch website. The post is the only public acknowledgement of the use of the technology and Lewis says it has been “successful,” with the tech being deployed in branches where there are higher levels of crime.
See also New York Time’s interactive investigation of AI-generated faces, Designed to Deceive: Do These People Look Real to You?
These people may look familiar, like ones you’ve seen on Facebook or Twitter. They look stunningly real at first glance. But they do not exist.