Tag Archives: Mobile Trends

The 21 hottest female-founded startups to watch in 2017

emily weiss glossier

There’s never been a better time to be a woman in the startup world.

There’s no denying we have a long way to go. After all, venture capital firms are made up of mostly men, and some continue to suggest women aren’t cut out for the tech world at all. And way more VC money is offered to male founders than women.

But more and more women are building multimillion-dollar startups, and venture firms like Forerunner Ventures, BBG Ventures, and Female Founders Fund all focus on female-founded companies.

It’s paying off. 2016 saw female founders launch innovative companies and raise millions to help them grow, while startups in their second or third year of life began gaining ground.

And 2017 is likely to be even bigger. Here are some of the most exciting women-run companies to keep an eye on in the coming year. 

SEE ALSO: THE $10 BILLION CLUB: Meet the 8 most valuable startups in the US

Parachute wants to make a comfy night’s sleep affordable.

What is it: Parachute is changing how you buy one thing you use every day: your sheets. It produces the high-quality bedding from a factory in Italy and then sells it only through its website, and one store at its headquarters in Venice Beach, California. Parachute bedding has gained a bit of a cult following, and now co-living startups are even advertising that they have Parachute sheets with Casper mattresses. Every time a customer buys a set of its Venice line the company donates a mosquito net to help kids in Africa have a safe sleep.

Founded: 2014 by Ariel Kaye

Funding: $10.28 million from Upfront Ventures, Joanne Wilson, QueensBridge Venture Partners, and Structure Partners, among others.

Laurel & Wolf connects interior designers with people who want to give their homes an affordable makeover.

What is it: Laurel & Wolf wants to take advantage of a Pinterest-obsessed generation and make it easy and affordable to design your dream home. People searching for a new look can take a survey about their style, upload pictures and information about the space, and post their project. Typically, three to five designers respond with their ideas so you don’t have to settle on one from the start.

Founded: 2014 by Leura Fine and Brandon Kleinman

Funding: $26.63 from Benchmark, Charles River Ventures, Tim Draper, and others.

Maven lets you video chat with doctors.

What is it: Maven is a women’s health app that connects you with doctors via video chat, allowing you to ask questions, get advice, and receive prescriptions. Maven was founded by Kate Ryder, who came up with the idea for the app when she was working at a venture-capital fund in London. Ryder noticed that all of her friends were starting to get pregnant and were receiving a lot of misinformation or having trouble finding the right doctor.

Users can connect with doctors, nurse practitioners, and mental health experts through the app. 

Founded: 2014 by Kate Ryder

Funding: $6.67 million from Female Founders Fund, Grand Central Tech, BoxGroup, and others.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's how Shake Shack really compares to In-N-Out

Talk to any fast food aficionado about their favorite hamburger and they’ll likely name Shake Shack or In-N-Out Burger at the top of their list. So during a trip to Las Vegas, one of the few cities where you can find both of the burger chains, we decided to try a side-by-side comparison to see which burger triumphed.

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Microsoft Office 2010
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Aivia slaps a touchscreen on a slanted wireless speaker

aivia speaker Hugh Behroozy is obsessed with symmetry — so much so that they wanted his company’s name is even symmetric.
And that’s why the Aivia, a combo subwoofer/speaker, is slanted — so it will fit seamlessly against a wall and not jut out because of a charging cable. The speaker also has a screen built into it, which may seem like an odd decision to make for a startup. But… Read More

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Proof will track your blood alcohol content with a wristband

proof wristband Checking your blood alcohol content with a breathalyzer while out with some friends might just be a party trick — but if you really wanted to know it to figure out whether or not you should have another drink, it might be awkward to pull one out. So that’s why Evan Strenk started Milo Sensors, a company built around wearable sensors that detects various chemicals in your body based… Read More

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5 lessons anyone can take from the book a LinkedIn exec recommends to all new managers

brendan browne linkedinLinkedIn had a dramatic 2016.

The professional social network lost more than 40% of its value in a day in February, and then Microsoft bought the company for $26.2 billion in June.

As LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent acquisition Brendan Browne told Business Insider, drastic ups and downs are just part of being at a fast-moving company. It’s why he thinks “grit and resiliency are everything.”

And that’s why, as the head of recruiting for the company’s 10,000 global employees, he has often recommended or gifted to new managers Ryan Holiday’s 2015 book “The Obstacle Is the Way,” an easy-to-read and practical introduction to Stoic philosophy.

Browne explained that tensions between colleagues in any organization often arise when one hides problems until they can no longer be ignored. He said that he recommends the book with the intention of instilling the idea that difficulties that arise should not be feared or ignored, but immediately embraced. 

“It’s a quick read and I think it’s just so universally applicable because it backs … the idea that you could feel like you’re struggling but that’s actually the normal pace of things,” Browne said. “And if we can all tune ourselves to that, we’ll probably all be better off.”

For five key takeaways from”The Obstacle Is the Way,” we went straight to author Ryan Holiday. Below, find five lessons distilled from his book, in Holiday’s own words:

1. Obstacles provide opportunities for growth

“Two thousand years ago, Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius — then the most powerful man on earth — sat down to write himself a note, likely in response to some frustrating people he was dealing with. In that note, he told himself that their frustration was actually an opportunity for him to practice virtue.

“He reminded himself: ‘The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.’ Basically, everything that happens to us is a chance to practice excellence — even if its not in the form we originally intended. That’s why the ‘obstacle is the way.'”

2. Our perception of the world dictates our actions

“The essence of Stoic philosophy is distilled into three disciplines: Perception, Action, Will. How we think about things, What we do about them, and How we accept or endure that which we cannot change.”

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3. It is necessary to accept that which we cannot change

“The key to successful action is making the distinction between what you control and what you do not control. Indeed, ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus says that this is our chief task in life.

“Separating the two is essential for being effective — when you eliminate worrying about, thinking about, scheming about the things outside your control (other people’s opinion, the weather, the market), it frees you up to focus 100% on what you do control (your actions, you emotions, your responses).”

4. How you do anything is how you do everything

“There is a line from Rolls-Royce cofounder Sir Henry Royce that he had engraved on his mantle: ‘Whatever rightly done, however humble, is noble.’ The Stoics were big on duty.

“They believed the idea that how you do anything is how you do everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out in an internship, if you’re making smoothies to pay for your clothing line, or if you’re the executive of a Fortune 500 company. Every task should be treated as essential. Everything should be done right.”

5. Embrace your fate

“The story of Thomas Edison’s factory burning down at age 67 illustrates the Stoic lesson of amor fati — a love of our fate. Edison’s entire life’s work went up in flames. As he watched the fire consume it all, he turned to his son and said, ‘Go get your mother and all her friends, they’ll never see a fire like this again.’ He was actually embracing this terrible thing that happened to him.

“He told a reporter the next day that he’d been through difficulty like this before and the upside was that it ‘prevents a man from being afflicted with ennui.’ He took a million-dollar loan from Henry Ford and rebuilt the operation and had it going again in a matter of weeks.”

SEE ALSO: LinkedIn VP explains why ‘boomerang employees’ are becoming the new normal

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NOW WATCH: MICHAEL LEWIS: How behavioral psychology explains Trump’s surprise victory

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Check out all the hot cars that we can't wait to see at the Detroit auto show

Audi S5 and A5 Cabrios

The 2017 North American International Auto Show pulls into the mighty Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit next week, with media preview days commencing on Monday.

We’ll be on the ground in Motown to bring you all the exciting news — the concept cars, the high-tech machines, the big reveals — but until then, here’s a rundown of all the hot rides we’re looking forward to checking out.

NAIAS is the biggest car show in the world and represents the midpoint of the global auto-show circuit, which will wrap up in New York in a few months. It runs until Jan. 22.

Detroit is riding high in 2017, seven years after the financial crisis and sales downturn that cratered the US market. In 2016, the US sales record of 17.5 million new vehicles set in 2015 was beaten by about 50,000 cars and trucks. December was particularly bonkers, with a pace that would have delivered well over 18 million in annual sales.

Suffice it to say that there’s going to be joy in Detroit this year, although the industry is far from certain about what the Donald Trump administration will mean for the car business.

But enough about politics. Let’s check out some hot cars!

The Corvette ZR1. Speculation is rampant that Chevy will pull the cover off a more super version of the already superlative 650-horsepower Corvette Z06. Speculation is also rampant that the C7 generation Vette could be the last the have the engine up front — a mid-engine Vette is rumored to be in the works as the C8 car.

2018 Toyota Camry. The all-important Camry sedan is getting an update and making an appearance in Motown. We expect a sexier ride that what the familiar four-door has given us in the past.

2018 Mercedes E-Class Coupe. Two version of the two-door will go on sale in mid-2017, each harboring a 329-horsepower twin-turbo V6 under the hood. We’ll get our first look in Detroit.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's the pitch that landed a marijuana entrepreneur $1 million in funding

truman bradley seed & smith marijuana

Truman Bradley’s pitch for a new kind of cannabis company began with a simple slogan. “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

Most companies that make marijuana vaporizer cartridges or concentrates buy their source materials from farmers, slap their sticker on the packaging, and ship it off to dispensaries.

The end user knows little about where their weed comes from or its quality.

That didn’t sit right with the former business manager. “None of the major companies were really providing their own source material, and as a result, they were subject to the whims of whatever they could get,” Bradley said. “So the quality was fluctuating quite a bit.”

Bradley hatched an idea for a vertically integrated marijuana concentrates and extracts company that grew its own materials. Like a brewery, Seed & Smith would offer educational tours at its facility so people could peel back the curtain on how their products are made.

The Colorado-based Seed & Smith opens for business this spring, after raising more than $1 million in funding from an angel investor who asked to remain anonymous.

truman bradley seed & smith marijuana

The grow room will have picture windows so visitors can peer inside without contaminating the plants. Intercom systems will allow tour groups to ask questions of the lab workers while they trim buds or refine products in contained areas. There’s even a museum-style exhibit on the extraction process and a gift shop where the tour ends.

“This isn’t like Jurassic Park where you only see the [dinosaurs] that make it, and the failures are on a different island. We’re showing true production rooms,” Bradley told Business Insider. “It takes a lot of guts to do that, and it takes a lot of money to design a facility that’s capable of producing this stuff, day in and day out, on a high quality scale.”

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Bradley said he met with 20 to 30 investors before finding the right backer.

“Anytime investors hear cannabis, they think high risk and they think high return — rightly or wrongly,” Bradley said. Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, and its legal status is enough to scare away most banks and high net worth individuals.

People who work in the cannabis industry are often forced to pay interest rates north of 18% to 19% on a loan, according to Bradley. Investors might ask for more equity than they would of a business in a more mainstream category. Bradley says it makes it hard to be successful.

His lawyer connected him with an interested party about two years ago.

truman bradley seed & smith marijuana

Seed & Smith won’t be the first vertically integrated marijuana concentrates and extracts company. In San Francisco, startups Bloom Farms and Lola Lola operate independent grow facilities that supply oil for their vape cartridges, though they also rely on third-party producers.

But Bradley’s pitch landed in part, he said, because he let the investor have “complete visibility into what’s going on.” He even encouraged the investor to visit other companies first.

“I wanted them to go tour a couple other production facilities and then come see ours, because I thought that would give us an advantage,” Bradley said. “Sometimes people wouldn’t recognize we were a quality organization if they hadn’t seen what a lack of quality looked like.”

SEE ALSO: The legal weed market is growing as fast as broadband internet in the 2000s

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NOW WATCH: We went inside the grow facility that makes Colorado’s number one marijuana strain

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Astronauts are going deep underground to prepare for space travel

Astronauts are spending weeks in underground caves in Italy. The conditions are thought to help prepare astronauts for the harsh reality of spaceflight.

Video courtesy of ESA

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How much it would cost to 3D print the Death Star and other real and fictional landmarks

British printing retailer TonerGiant decided to look into how much it would cost, and how long it would take, to recreate some famous landmarks using just a 3D printer.  Needless to say, this is no easy task. Here are some of their results, which may surprise you. 

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The police are using 'super-recognizer' detectives to identify suspects from grainy video footage

Surveillance cameras big brother

Other people’s faces get strangely seared into my brain, even those of complete strangers. It’s not that I necessarily want to remember them — I just can’t seem to help it.

It turns out Eliot Porritt, a detective sergeant with London’s Metropolitan Police, is looking for people like me.

Porritt leads a police task force called the Super Recognizer Unit. Officers in his unit are believed to have an uncanny ability to place a familiar face, a skill that some researchers estimate is present in roughly 1% of the population. Because they’re believed to be able to accurately identify people from grainy, poor-quality images and videos, these super-recognizers are being called in to help crack cases that have gone cold.

Psychologists who’ve researched the phenomenon say it’s a huge boon for law enforcement, and British police officers overseeing their work are thrilled by its apparent success. But lawyers and privacy advocates feel otherwise. To them, the idea of using people whose abilities have not yet been comprehensively studied to identify suspected criminals — and eventually put them behind bars — is worrisome and potentially dangerous.

Face blindness

In the 1990s, researchers identified a region of the brain that is thought to play a key role in our ability to identify a face. They named it the fusiform face area.

In studies of people who’ve experienced brain damage to that region, researchers have identified a condition known as prosopagnosia — a word that combines the Greek words “prosopon,” or face, with “agnos,” or lack of knowledge. Prosopagnosics have difficulties recognizing familiar faces — even, sometimes, their own.

Oliver SacksMore recently, researchers have diagnosed the condition in people without brain damage as well. This type of prosopagnosia is known as developmental prosopagnosia because its sufferers appear to be born with it. The deficit doesn’t appear to negatively affect other intellectual efforts in those people. Oliver Sacks, the renowned neurologist and prolific writer, for example, was a prosopagnosic, and he wrote about his condition in the book “The Mind’s Eye.”

“I am much better at recognizing my neighbors’ dogs (they have characteristic shapes and colors) than my neighbors themselves,” Sacks wrote.

Initially, researchers assumed that there were only two groups of people when it came to facial recognition: prosopagnosics, or people who were face-blind, and everyone else. They no longer think it’s quite that simple.

Super-recognition

The first paper to mention the phrase “super-recognizer” was published in 2009. In it, Harvard psychologists Ken Nakayama and Richard Russell and University College London cognitive neuroscientist Brad Duchaine outlined the experiences of four people who claimed to have an unusually good ability to recognize faces. In addition, the researchers presented the world’s first test designed to identify these so-called super-recognizers, the Cambridge Face Memory Test.

Eyeball

All four subjects in the paper described eerie instances in their past in which they had recognized apparent strangers: family members they hadn’t seen for decades or actors they’d glimpsed once in an ad and then seen again in a movie. Each person in the study said that for years they’d felt as if something were wrong with them. One of the participants, for example, told the researchers she tried to hide her ability and “pretend that I don’t remember … because it seems like I stalk them, or that they mean more to me than they do.”

For the first time, the Cambridge test suggested to these people that they weren’t alone — that their abilities weren’t merely in their head but quantifiable, testable, able to be proved and put down on paper.

Theory meets the London police

Around the same time Duchaine and his coauthors were discussing their newly published findings, psychologist Josh P. Davis, who is now a professor of psychology at the University of Greenwich, was traveling to a conference where he would meet the man in charge of video surveillance for the London Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville. That meeting would change how the London Police handled video and photo surveillance footage for at least the next five years.

Davis had spent the past few years studying the psychology of surveillance and was particularly interested in the way closed-circuit television, or CCTV, was used in court to identify criminals. Neville was there to give a presentation on a handful of remarkable officers in his force who had repeatedly made what he and other officers refer to as identifications, the successful matching of an image of a person with a name in a database. Upon hearing that, Davis knew he had to talk to him.

“I just went up to him and I said: ‘Look, I’m interested in doing research on this. Is there anything we could be doing for you? Because we have a lot of common interests,'” Davis recalled.

The two agreed on a path forward: They had to give the officers the Cambridge test.

What we know — and don’t know — about facial recognition

Research suggests that facial super-recognition is fundamentally different from traditional memory in several key ways. First, the ability doesn’t appear to be able to be learned or enhanced with training. Second, it appears to have a neurological and structural basis.

But there’s still a lot we don’t know about super-recognition — and about facial recognition more broadly.

In a recent study in the journal PLoS One, for example, researchers studied two so-called memory champions, people who had competed extensively in memory contests and had even been recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records for their memorization skills. When the researchers studied these people’s facial-recognition abilities, however, their results were merely average. In other words, the researchers concluded, something about facial processing was fundamentally different from memory — and it couldn’t be learned by any training or class. Instead, it seemed to be innate.

Face_recognitionAnd if people are born with their facial-recognition abilities, then they most likely have a neurological basis in the brain, researchers say. A super-recognizer, for example, might have a slightly larger fusiform face area than a face-blind person, or the person might show more activity in this area when looking at images of a face. “Any time there’s a psychological difference there has to be a neurological basis,” said Duchaine, the University College London cognitive neuroscientist. “Just like you’d say, OK, that car is faster than that other car. Is there a difference in their engines? Well yes of course there is.”

Still, Duchaine and other researchers lack the data to confirm this. All of the existing studies of super-recognizers are based on very small samples of people — anywhere from just two individuals to a half-dozen people. Several of the researchers have presented their hypotheses about super-recognizers at conferences and presentations, but many of these haven’t yet been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Even normal facial recognition has its limitations. People are generally bad at accurately recognizing the faces of people whose race is different from theirs, for example. This phenomenon, known as the cross-race effect, or CRE, has been replicated by dozens of international psychological studies. It is a problem for law enforcement in particular, especially when it comes to eyewitness testimony.

“The CRE reveals systematic limitations on eyewitness identification accuracy and suggests that some caution is warranted in evaluating cross-race identification,” a team of psychologists wrote in a 2012 study.

Notably, some studies suggest the cross-race effect is reduced when someone has more contact with people of other races (i.e., white people who have regular contact with black people are better at accurately identifying black people than white people who have little or no contact with black people). While all of the police officers in London’s super-recognizer unit are white, all of them reported interacting frequently with people of races other than their own.

The London riots: the first large-scale super-recognizer test

On August 4, 2011, just months after Davis and Neville began testing London’s police officers for their super-recognition abilities, a young black man named Mark Duggan was fatally shot by members of the London Metropolitan Police, whose ranks are nearly 90% white, in sharp contrast to the larger London population. When the local police refused to disclose details about the circumstances of Duggan’s death, members of his family and the surrounding community held what has been described by witnesses, including the police, as a peaceful protest.

But the police did not acknowledge the protest.

“Where we probably didn’t handle it well is no one came and really communicated” with the protesters “or articulated any kind of message, so that process kind of grew in numbers,” said Porritt, who was working as an officer then.

Consistent accounts of what happened in the following days are still hard to come by, but rioting eventually broke out across the city.

Over the next six days, hundreds of businesses were virtually cleaned out. Homes and apartments were destroyed. A double-decker bus was set on fire. Five people died. “By Sunday night, I mean, it was absolute chaos,” Porritt recalled.

london riots burned out car women walk

A handful of sociological studies have tried to parse out the root causes and intervening factors that influenced the riots. One major theme emerges from all of them: Many of the people involved felt they were responding, in a way, to decades of unfair, racially discriminatory treatment by the police.

“Reading the Riots,” an extensive research project conducted after the riots by the London School of Economics and The Guardian, concluded “widespread anger and frustration at people’s everyday treatment at the hands of police was a significant factor.”

“You see the rioting yeah?” a 20-year-old male interviewee asked the researchers. “Everything the police have done to us, did to us, was in our heads. That’s what gave everyone their adrenaline to want to fight the police … It was because of the way they treated us.”

In addition, the evidence the researchers gathered suggests that those who participated in the riots generally had lower incomes than the UK population at large. “Analysis of more than 1,000 court records suggests 59% of the England rioters come from the most deprived 20% of areas in the UK,” the report said.

Indeed, as far as the looting was concerned, most of the goods that were stolen, according to the report, were electronics, followed by clothing, sportswear, and food.

The police wanted it to stop. And once it was over, they wanted to punish the people they saw as responsible.

But first they had to identify those people.

“It got serious from that point on,” Davis, the University of Greenwich psychologist, recalled, referring to the use of super-recognition in the days and months to come to identify suspects in the riots.

On August 12, 2011, Neville ordered a large trawl, or capture, of all of the video and images captured on London’s citywide mass-surveillance program of CCTV from the previous six days.

This was the first time that such footage — grainy, often barely distinguishable slices of chins, slivers of cheeks and eyes, or side profiles of faces — was used in such a systematic way. “Up until then, images really were being probably downloaded by detectives or police officers. And then they were just being probably hidden in a drawer or, if you’re lucky, pinned on a board,” Porritt told me. But Neville changed all that. By contracting with a private company called 3rd Forensic, he made it possible for the police officers to categorize hundreds of thousands of images and hours of surveillance video.

“So the big breakthrough that Mick Neville made was he brought in this database software,” Porritt said. “And because that started categorizing images it also enabled us to track cases.”

Using a system called Forensic Image Linking and Management, 3rd Forensic made it possible to store, label, search for, and retrieve images and videos of people captured not just on CCTV cameras across London but also on body-worn cameras, mobile phones, social media, and police booking rooms. These images are stored in a database that officers across the city can search.

“This systematic approach is much the same way as we search for fingerprints and DNA at the scenes of other crimes,” the Metropolitan Police says on its website. The difference here is that officers can search using a variety of terms including what they call personal descriptors, such as whether the person was wearing a hat or carrying a bag. Those descriptors could also include a person’s skin color.

shop a looter london riots poster identification police

In the days, months, and years after the riots, officers combed through thousands of photos and video clips from across the city. About 20 people in the force began to make identifications by matching familiar faces — people they’d seen elsewhere in the database or out in the field — with other faces in the database.

The vast majority of officers couldn’t do this. The low-quality images made it difficult to make out much in the first place, and many of the people in these photos were wearing bandanas or sunglasses. Yet these 20 officers had picked out and named more than 600 suspects, according to the BBC. These were either people they’d witnessed elsewhere whom they’d suspected of committing a crime or people they’d spotted previously on other potentially incriminating CCTV footage.

Many of these officers also ended up scoring highly on the Cambridge test, and some of them, like Porritt, are still working as super-recognizers with the London police. “So we could go back to the earliest images of 2011 and say we’ve just identified this guy for a burglary — how many more has he done that haven’t been solved?” Porritt said.

Since the super-recognizer task force got its official start on 11 May 2015, its officers have made roughly 2,300 identifications on cases that, until now, have been considered essentially unsolvable. The vast majority are for crimes like shoplifting and burglary.

In roughly 65.5% of those cases, the identified individual has been charged with a crime — this rate has fluctuated from 57% to 74% throughout the task force’s existence, according to Porritt. Typically, a suspect is charged on the basis of a combination of facial recognition and additional evidence linking the person to the crime. The London police department did not have data immediately available on how many of these charged suspects were found guilty, but the fact that so many of these cases have made it to trial alone suggests the courts are viewing testimony from super-recognizers as admissible evidence. And, in what are called “linked series” — cases where a suspect is charged with anywhere from 20 to 30 crimes at once based on collected CCTV footage — 100% of the suspects have pleaded guilty, according to Porritt.

In addition, several studies of the super-recognizers’ abilities, including a paper published this August in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, support the idea that the super-recognizers are making legitimate identifications.

riot police london riots

Some privacy and police-accountability advocates think the practice is getting ahead of the science, though. Instead of preventing crime, Camilla Graham Wood, a legal officer with UK-based privacy-rights organization Privacy International, said its use may be “combining the most worrying aspects” of facial-recognition technology “along with the subjective decisions, and errors therein, of human beings.”

“What we don’t know is … how good are they, how many mistakes do they make, what role does prejudice play in all of this?” Graham Wood added.

An ‘unknown field’

For years after the London riots ended, officers combed through thousands of images and hours of surveillance footage in every area where riots or looting had been documented. And they identified hundreds of suspects. But if they had surveilled another area in another borough, might they also have found numerous suspects who wouldn’t otherwise be identified? Did the riots — and the discovery of police officers with super-recognition abilities — justify the police’s decision to pay particular attention to these areas?

Porritt and his coworkers believe that using super-recognizers is massively improving the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of their work. And at every step of the process, he and his team have had psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists at their side, cheering on the efforts of the world’s first super-recognizer task force.

Super-recognition still does not have a scientific definition. Yet the Metropolitan Police have used it to pick out, arrest, and successfully charge thousands of individuals who otherwise would most likely never have been brought to court. Out of a force of 36,000 individuals, Porritt’s team of just five people has been able to make something approaching 25% of all the identifications from images and video in the entire city. “That for me is exceptional value for money,” Porritt said.

But it’s still early days for super-recognition as a science. “We’re working in a kind of unknown field with no real protocol,” Porritt told me. As a result, it’s impossible to say whether super-recognition is being applied in a way that reinforces existing, potentially discriminatory policies, or whether it’s being used to combat those policies through increased accuracy and objectivity.

Regardless, the use of super-recognizing officers does appear to lend increased legitimacy to the use of surveillance, but some question whether it will be applied fairly.

“We’re meant to have a culture of ‘policing by consent,’ but with these kinds of measures there is no consent,” Graham Wood said. “It enables perpetual policing, whether or not we’ve actually committed any crime.”

SEE ALSO: There’s a test that tells you if you’re a ‘super-recognizer’ of faces, and you can take it right now

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NOW WATCH: Neuroscientists are trying to understand how the brains of elite athletes work

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