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Yoti improves accuracy and skin tone balance for age estimation

Approaches 600M age checks
Yoti improves accuracy and skin tone balance for age estimation

Yoti has released a new white paper detailing improvements in its age and skin tone recognition capabilities for its facial age estimation technology. The updates offer global regulators more confidence that children would not be able to access age-restricted goods, services, and content without discriminating by gender or skin tone, the UK-based digital identity verification company said in an announcement.

According to its white paper released in March 2023, Yoti’s evaluations of its own technology show a true positive rate (TPR) of 99.93 percent for estimating the age of 13- to 17-year-olds as being under 25, and a TPR of 98.35 percent for estimating 6- to 11-year-olds as under 13. The mean absolute error for people from 13 to 17 years of age is now 1.4 years, and Yoti says gender and skin tone bias have been effectively minimized.

The mean absolute error rate for people with the two darkest skin tones on the Fitzpatrick scale improved from 1.91 for females and 1.64 for males in the 13-17 age range to 1.6 and 1.5 in the latest report.

The latest update of Yoti’s accuracy numbers makes some measurement adjustments from a year ago, when mean absolute error was presented to two decimal places and age was estimated against a 23-year-old threshold.

Yoti’s age-checking service is used by companies such as Instagram, Facebook Dating, OnlyFans and Yubo. Last month, Meta expanded its use of facial age estimation on Instagram to more countries, including Mexico, Australia, Canada and Japan.

The company has also developed anti-spoofing technology named Yoti MyFace to prevent fake images from being used for facial age estimation. MyFace analyses the depth of an image to make sure the person is real and not a photograph, video or bot. The proprietary product received NIST Level 2 approval with 100 percent attack detection in March this year.

“We’re very proud to have reached 99.9 percent accuracy for 13-17 year-olds correctly being estimated as under 25, and achieved NIST Level 2 for our MyFace Liveness technology,” Robin Tombs, CEO at Yoti said in a press release. “From now on, businesses can accept estimated age, such as under 13 or over 18, as proof of age, as well as accept age verified to an ID document. We’re delighted that our accuracy rates are super high for young people, regardless of gender or skin tone.”

Yoti says its technology has already been used to perform more than 593 million age checks, and the system has been scaled to handle 300 checks each second.

Yoti announced in March it would receive a £10 million investment from the Lloyds Banking Group for digital safety products with a new digital ID product launching later this year in the UK.

The company is trialing age estimation technologies for cinema entry, gambling and on self-checkouts to prevent minors from buying alcohol. Yoti also offers eSigning and ID verification solutions and is collaborating with the UK Post Office on a digital ID certification product called EasyID.

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