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2023-01-23

Manifesto collection of clothing to protect against facial recognition

They may be a bit odd looking, but Cap_able claims that their visually confusing and expensive cotton jersey is designed to confuse AI facial recognition systems by tricking machine learning systems into thinking you're an animal and not a human.

There are many reasons why people don't want to be tracked by widespread facial recognition technology - it's a rather dystopian thought for most people that governments around the world now have access to systems that can identify and profile you simply by using recordings from CCTV cameras. And even in countries where governments have pledged not to use the technology, it is also available to corporations that can use it to personalize ads, for example.

Most of these machines can be fooled by wearing a mask, but Turin-based fashion house Cap_able has come up with a creative solution that prevents AI systems from recognizing a face, even if it is completely open.

Developed as part of co-founder Rachel Didero's doctoral thesis at the University of Milan, the Manifesto collection uses a range of patterns that look odd and frilly, but include details and clues that cause artificial intelligence systems to interpret a human silhouette as a zebra, dog, or giraffe.

Didero tested the Manifesto collection with YOLO (You Only Look Once), a neural network-based object detection system capable of quickly classifying objects on video in real time and recognizing faces while learning from photos.

On the one hand, it would be a rather trivial decision for any government to right-click on the images on the Cap_able site and add these clothes to their recognition systems, which would immediately derail such an undertaking. On the other hand, it might not be worth their attention because Cap_able sells the hoodie pictured above for 420 euros.

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