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Facebook's 10-Year Challenge: Motives Questioned

     
10:50 am on Jan 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Those of you using Facebook must have seen the 10-year challenge over profile pictures. I did see it and wondered what was going on at first.

It was questioned that this is Facebook training its facial recognition software. Many rebutted that claim saying Facebook already has the photos on file. However, that's not always the case, looking at many profiles manually.

Users have now provided Facebook with a perfect set of data it doesn't have to sort through with technology.

[wired.com...]
1:02 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The cynic in me says it is possible.
I suppose the only way to know if it is true, is if fb come out and admit to it.
6:34 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Wishful thinking there, Mark, although, it's telling there's no effort from Facebook to dispel the cynicism in so many of us.
9:09 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The point that I believe many people miss is that even despite the cynicism and negative attitude towards FB, many people will still partake in this "experiment". At the scale of Facebook, many people is likely more than enough data to reliably train and test an algorithm. Once trained the algorithm can then be applied to all. So the participants, the "I have nothing to hide" crowd, may well have nothing to hide and from their perspective this "innocence" is just that. But to others in our society that legitimately do have something to hide, journalists, whistle-blowers, victims of crime, what ever... To those people, the innocent fun is no longer so innocent.
9:48 pm on Jan 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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But just how much (self-)selection bias will there be? People who believe they look better--or at least less silly--than they did 10 years ago will happily participate. People who think they look worse will ignore it. That, by itself, will skew the results of anything you're trying to learn by making the comparison.
3:22 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Just testing their software to see if their "age projection filter" is working correctly. This gives them "before and after" pics to refine the algos.

Play if you want. Meanwhile, most folks on FB post their most attractive (and usually MUCH YOUNGER) images for profiles, if in fact they actually use their own image.
10:24 am on Jan 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There were some smart people participating in this exercise. I suspect some just can't help sharing, which is adding to the success of social media.
I was close to joining some of my cynical friends with their contributions, which included their face (sort of) in one image and a tennis ball in another. Hehehe
2:57 pm on Jan 23, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Anything you can imagine and even more that you couldn't imagine is probably being done. Most people don't know how to manage their data. Facebook isn't one of them. :D
9:24 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't want to offend, but the 10 year challenge being a data grab is the silliest of conspiracy theories.

Facebook has 10+ years of pic data on millions of people without the 10 year challenge. Enough to train a learning algo many times over. Participants in the 10 year challenge will barely make a ripple in the existing data set.
10:47 am on Jan 24, 2019 (gmt 0)

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IanKelley, I think you missed one point: Yes, it does have the data, but now, it knows precisely what it is. The profile pic, for most people, is actually a picture of their face. Many exceptions to that, of course, but we're talking big data sets, with the screw-ball pictures being ignored.
12:45 am on Jan 25, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is at least 5 years into production use of face recognition. Determining if a pic is a face, and whose face it is, does not pose a problem.

Again, the additonal pics provided by the 10 year challenge do not represent a significant change in the data they have available.

Facebook could publish a fully automated 10 year challenge that would be in the realm of 90% accurate on all relevant accounts (those with 10 year and current pics available). They could even augment it with pics that their facial recognition algo knows are of the user even when they haven't been tagged.

That's with the tech we already know they have, not with whatever they have in the pipeline that isn't public yet.

What point am I missing?
7:12 am on Jan 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure why this 10 year challenge is being question in such detail when, well, this and I'll quote verbatim...

"The president has put in place an organization that contains a kind of database that nobody has ever seen before in life. That's going to be very very powerful and that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it's never been done before" ~ Democratic Senator Maxine Watters's statement, on video, in 2013(before spying became a hot topic).

We've entered an era where everything and everyone can be monitored efficiently in totality and said storage of that data can be parsed in near real time. This all shouldn't be a surprise anymore, maybe the discussion needs to move along in a post "conspiracy" and constructive way. What is going on, why, by whom etc... we won't get these answers until the discussion catches up so for now... patience.
 

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