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‘Super recognizers’ plus face biometrics could significantly aid police: neuroscientist

‘Super recognizers’ plus face biometrics could significantly aid police: neuroscientist

The combination of face biometrics and “super recognizers,” people with an extraordinary talent for processing faces, could substantially help police forces during criminal investigations claims neuroscientist Meike Ramon, who recently presented the results of a study on super recognizers to an international law enforcement audience at Europol in The Hague.

Spotted by Medical Express, Ramon’s research is the result of a request by cantonal police of Fribourg, Switzerland, to employ super recognizers to aid investigations into raids on a bank and a jeweler’s shop.

According to Ramon, face biometrics systems benefit criminal investigations only if they have been trained with adequate types and amounts of data. In contrast, super recognizers “do it intuitively using just one picture.”

Ramon has also been aiding German police to identify officers with a talent for face recognition from roughly 18,000 members of Berlin’s force following the terrorist attack on the Christmas market at the city’s Gedächtniskirche in December 2016.

Because of the limitations of facial recognition, the neuroscientist believes a combination of face biometrics software and super recognizers could be the best option to aid police forces during criminal investigations.

Moving forward, Ramon says she will continue her work on the Applied Face Cognition Lab using funds from the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2019 and her links with the University of Lausanne.

Meanwhile, biometric forensic technologies continue to evolve, as proven by rapid forensics efforts shared by the Dutch police in September.

More recently, the European Association for Biometrics (EAB) has looked at introducing limitations to the subjective evaluation of a face comparison in forensic facial examination.

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