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Massive facial recognition search engine now blocks searches for children’s faces

An illustration depicting a feature-less face against a pink, white, and blue background.
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

PimEyes, a public search engine that uses facial recognition to match online photos of people, has banned searches of minors over concerns it endangers children, reports The New York Times.

At least, it should. PimEyes’ new detection system, which uses age detection AI to identify whether the person is a child, is still very much a work in progress. After testing it, The New York Times found it struggles to identify children photographed at certain angles. The AI also doesn’t always accurately detect teenagers.

PimEyes chief executive Giorgi Gobronidze says he’d been planning on implementing such a protection mechanism since 2021. However, the feature was only fully deployed after New York Times writer Kashmir Hill published an article…

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