EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN – Over a hundred years ago, “scientists” would measure skulls and classify facial features in order to identify “the criminal type”. Now two Chinese scientists say they have been able to make a computer preform the same task:
In their paper â€˜Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Imagesâ€™, published on the arXiv pre-print server, Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang from Chinaâ€™s Shanghai Jiao Tong University investigate whether a computer can detect if a human could be a convicted criminal just by analysing his or her facial features. The two say their tests were successful, and that they even found a new law governing â€œthe normality for faces of non-criminals.â€
It was a pseudo-science then, and it strikes me as a pseudo-science now. I’m certainly uncomfortable with a computer trying to determine one’s criminal character. I’m even more uncomfortable thinking about what such a computer program could possibly be used for. And I’m infinitely uncomfortable that this sort of a technological development is taking place in communist China, as if the Party needs any more tools of potential oppression and social control.