‘Seamless transactions and experiences’ coming to Corsight, says new CEO
Shai Toren joined biometric solutions provider Corsight as its new CEO in November 2022, replacing Rob Watts, who is now the company’s President and chief strategy officer.
Biometric Update interviewed Toren via email about this management change, what it means for the company and, more generally, facial recognition applications.
“A startup journey consists of a few phases. Each phase requires different expertise and a different focus,” explains Toren, referring to his hire.
“Rob did a great job developing the company to be the best and most reliable face recognition technology in the market. [He] freely admits that he is best suited to serve the company in an outward-facing role, one where he can engage with clients and strategic partners to enhance the ethical use of our technology and drive ‘Needle shifting’ engagements.”
Corsight now needs a different type of leadership for its next growth phase, Toren explains.
“It’s my mission to build solutions together with our partners to solve key use cases that are of concern to our customers and provide a seamless experience in a secure and safe world.”
Toren says he joined Corsight at an excellent time for the industry, as he believes 2022 was a fascinating year for autonomous artificial intelligence (AI).
Training biometrics algorithms
Still, according to the CEO, several facial recognition vendors currently develop and train their AI technology on one ‘type’ of people, usually the most common population in the country of training.
“For example […] an enterprise that wants to offer free-flow access to large events in China using a technology trained on the Chinese population […] will find it hard to match a U.S. visitor holding a fast lane ticket.”
Toren says that such an approach is flawed, as if AI technology is trained on one ‘type’ of people, it will fail in diverse real-life scenarios, especially in today’s hyperconnected world.
Instead, companies should train their biometric algorithms on a variety of demographic, gender, and age data.
Reducing biases in biometric recognition
In one of last year’s NIST tests, Corsight said it achieved an equal false match rate between the black and white test groups for male and female subjects. Toren says the company has kept working on bias reduction since then.
“Corsight was and still is ranked #1 in racial and gender bias by NIST […] This has to do with the core technology that is the basis of everything Corsight does. It’s a unique, patented technology that best reflects the cortical brain function of humans in recognizing and learning as it sees and understands more.”
Smart cameras to subdue real-time threats
Toren also says enterprises face challenges when trying to subdue real-time threats.
“Think about the differences between a 1:1 kiosk experience to those that exist in dynamic and fast-moving scenarios. [The latter] include many people, different lighting conditions, challenging occlusions, and in most of the cases, the cameras are located high above creating challenging angles.”
Toren explains that most enterprises already invest substantial resources in protecting their equipment, employee safety, and IP.
“Companies already have cameras covering most grounds. All they are missing is a technology that can cope with these real-life scenarios.”
Specifically, Toren says businesses need a technology that can identify a person of interest or subject within a database passing fast in the frame of any camera, day or night, with or without a hat, mask, or helmet from a single 2D low-quality or outdated picture.
“These are the challenges autonomous AI figures out.”
Discussing biometric surveillance
When asked about Corsight’s position on facial recognition solutions being used for biometric surveillance purposes, Toren answers that this boils down to individual applications.
“In many cases, FR [facial recognition] is being blamed for negatively impacting human rights,” he says. “These assumptions now have to be challenged. Any technology can be used in a good or bad way. To blame the technology when operators misuse that technology doesn’t make sense.”
As far as Corsight is concerned, Toren says, the deployment of facial recognition software is reserved for applications aiming to save lives, identify organized crime and capture terrorists.
At the same time, the CEO recognizes that live biometric surveillance creates enhanced privacy issues for members of the public. For that reason, Corsight has designed, developed and invested substantial effort in making sure its technology complies with privacy regulations.
“We guide and help our customers follow these regulations and make sure they know and follow the local law […] Utilization in a manner that is compliant with the law, is necessary and proportionate and respects people’s privacy ensures live biometric processing is simply a part of the safety and security apparatus.”
Toren explains that many laws and regulations place the onus of ensuring that software is secure by design and secure by default on the operator.
“This is known as Article 25 of the GDPR. At Corsight, we have codified those requirements and ensured that any operator can demonstrate their compliance. Supporting that effort, we have produced a high-quality Privacy Manual.”
The executive says this approach combines Corsight’s knowledge of surveillance and its regulatory pedigree.
“[This enables] the operator to conduct live biometric surveillance while minimizing intrusion to the public and respecting the whole spectrum of privacy issues.”
As for the future of Corsight, Toren says he can only expose a fraction of what the company is working on.
“In general terms, Corsight will introduce some game-changing capabilities later in 2023, which are leveraging autonomous AI to enable seamless transactions and seamless experience in real-life and dynamic scenarios,” the CEO adds.
The company’s technology was recently chosen by OneMind Technologies, a subsidiary of Affluence Corporation, to develop face biometrics for safe and smart cities solutions.
“We believe Corsight have done our bit to drive up performance and standards […] I urge people to look under the bonnet of our engine,” Toren says. “We have met the challenges of critics. Now let’s work on seeing how we can use this amazing technology to act as a force for good.”