Facial Recognition: What Could Go Wrong?

A rather adorable Shar Pei puppy.

In my last post I was talking about voice recognition. Voice Recognition: What Could Go Wrong? Quite a lot as it happens! 

No I have been reading about supermarkets installing facial recognition technology at their check-outs so they can determine your gender and approximate age and so better target products.

It was an old-ish story so I'm not sure if it ever happened - but I live in deepest darkest rural Devon in the UK so if it has, we'll be the last to get it. Some advantages, then, of living in the ass end of beyond.

This is how it works. You pop into Tesco or Walmart for your weekly fix of Turkey Twizzlers. There is a screen at the till,  your face is scanned  and the next thing you know you are being bombarded with adverts for poultry-related fast food products.

I can't get very hot under the collar over what some people have branded "an invasion of privacy"because it's already happening on the internet. You look on Amazon for a gift for your 85-year-old aunt and the next thing you know ads for incontinence pads and anti-wrinkle cream pop up on every site you visit; like every octogenarian is sitting at home wetting themselves, worrying about how they're going to pull a toy boy when they have a face like a Shar Pei puppy's.

Sure as eggs is eggs, I will never be shown an advert for anything aspirational. No trendy clothes,  designer jewellery, holidays on Bali and sexy sports cars for me. No, it will be stairlifts, facial hair removers and gadgets to help you put on your socks.

Worse, I could be shown gadgets for getting rid of nasal hair, treatments for erectile dysfunction and a book on How To Pull Birds When You're In Your Eighties because I've been mistaken for an old man.

So you’d better perk up and look  your best every time  you pop into the supermarket. No trackie  bottoms,  jumper covered in cat hair and mascara smudges under your eyes, not unless you want WHAT WERE YOU THINKING to flash up on a screen in front of you.

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  1. I share wifi with a Spanish speaker, so every so often, I get ads (on my computer, on my TV) in Spanish. I don't speak a word. Joke's on them.

  2. I get spam emails offering me something that will give me a penis the size of a horse's. Obviously they haven't twigged that I am woman and don't need such an appendage. Besides, with people still wearing masks in stores, aren't we more likely to get ads for medical stuff because "they" think we are all doctors?

  3. I really hate those ads targeting my age or sex. I like seeing the products younger people want or what advertisers think they should want.