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Happy days are over for drivers in Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia, which have banned smiles on license photos.  (Source: NY Daily News)

Diana Kim, of Fairfax, Va. isn't smiling as she gets her license -- it's banned in her state.  (Source: USA Today)
Turn that smile upside down

As high-tech licenses become increasingly hard to forge, the Department of Motor Vehicles has found that one popular approach to obtaining fraudulent license is for someone to pose as a friend or colleague in an effort to get an official license.  New high-tech software uses facial recognition to warn officials if the face of the person being licensed matches someone already licensed.

However, there's one problem -- the algorithms often fail if people are making different faces in the two photos.  So four states -- Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia -- are telling drivers to wipe that grin off their face.  No more happy days for licensing, the states have declared, drivers must adopt "neutral facial expressions".

Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Takeo Kanade acknowledges that the move is necessary given the poor state of facial recognition technology when it comes to facial expressions.  Researchers still have yet to catch up to the inherent processing capability of the human brain, which can recognize familiar faces in a broad variety of expressions.

Karen Chappell, deputy commissioner of the Virginia DMV says that the smile ban is necessary to "make the comparison process more accurate."

Some citizens who were initially offended are changing their tune, deciding that the rule is in the best interest of national security.  States Elaine Mullen of Great Falls, Va., "It's probably safer from a national-security point of view."

Arkansas, Indiana and Nevada do still allow small smiles.  Currently 31 states in total do computerized matching of driver's license photos, and 3 others are considering it.  Of the 27 other states without anti-smiling policies, many are considering adopting similar measures.  Some states though are resisting the movement.  Pennsylvania Transportation Department spokesman Craig Yetter, states, "People can smile here in Pennsylvania."

Even without a smile-ban, Illinois stopped 6,000 people from getting fraudulent licenses since 1999, according to Beth Langen, the state head of Drivers Services.



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WTH?!?!
By Unfixedyouth on 5/27/2009 1:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
So. Let's break this down. Forget the whole no smile crap... I got my photo ID when I was 16. I'm 23 now. Is there a law that states how old the picture can be? Because I know that my face has changed since then... Probably so much that this facial software would not read it...

Haha... Facial software... sorry, little tangent...

Anywho... Point two... What about saying... screw you software dev companies trying to make money off of facial recognition software... Some punk landed a deal with the government selling this crappy software, and now those states are pissed off because it has a marginal failure rate... Maybe they should go to the software development company and make them figure it out...................
We saw what happened in the movie 21! Nothin beats a good old fashion casino security beating. Beating! Beat! beet. bee.... ttttt

Point three....
What happend to the old fasion double take?
License photo.
Persons face......
License photo.....
....
Persons face.....
Ooooookkkkkkk.... it's you..... Whatcha drinkin?
But Noooooo..... People checking id's are getting so lazy that they don't want to take the time to look at other human beings... Yes people look alike sometimes... But, you'd know your mothers face if you saw it... You just gotta get over yourself and pay attention if you’re in a position where you work with people very often....

Finally... I leave you with this little treasure....

http://www.hulu.com/watch/63896/family-guy-driver-...




RE: WTH?!?!
By tmouse on 5/28/2009 8:01:08 AM , Rating: 3
Point one: The purpose here is to stop people from GETTING a license in another name, of course they have to have one in the current state to compare. Many (most?) states issue new licenses at certain intervals, and at that time they can require a new picture, although most do not exercise this option. This is not for routine police checks.

Point two: look up Takeo Kanade before making stupid comments. The problem is most of the software is not good enough for 100% recognition when facial expressions are changed. Now they could allow some smiling and use a person to check any false positives that the computer comes up with but do we REALLY want to spend MORE time in the DMV?

Point three: again this is NOT for routine ID checks, it's to reduce fraud


RE: WTH?!?!
By mindless1 on 5/28/2009 9:38:47 AM , Rating: 1
Point one: Anyone who needs a drivers license instead of only a state ID will presumably find some way to access a vehicle and go to another state for that license.

Point two: The problem is the software isn't remotely close to 100% even with no smiling, Takeo Kanade didn't say this would fix the problem, rather the software was such crap it was taken out of context that this would improve it some.

Allowing smiling and waiting for a person to check is not necessarily going to cause more false positives. It could easily be the opposite, that they consider it a success if it makes as many similar comparisons as possible to try and catch as many people as possible by having they all take the same grim facial expression, meaning your wait could be longer. Part of what makes people look different is their normal facial expression, among other things like state of alertness, standing up straight (angle light usually hits their face), how oily their skin is, what hue of makeup for women, amount of tan, weight gain or loss. All things humans discriminate better than a computer.

Point three: They want to make it routine, and it is to check identity. What they later do with the information is out of our control as they are the government. Ever hear of illegal wiretaps?

What it is mostly is an idea by a small group that they should impose their will on the majority of society for reasons they deem to be more important regardless of what society wants. That's anti-American. Fraud is more likely with a totally fake ID than someone actually going to the DMV and posing as someone else. I'd wager that with a photoshopped picture printed on plastic stock then laminated on both sides you could easily make a license from a few states away and pass it off in your own state, so ironically enough if the idea of not smiling to aid facial recognition were for routine ID checks, then it might serve a greater purpose than it will.


RE: WTH?!?!
By Unfixedyouth on 5/29/2009 12:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you.


RE: WTH?!?!
By Unfixedyouth on 5/29/2009 12:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
Point you're a gullable idiot:
Did you even read my post?
Post... po.... s.....sssss.....ttttt???????

Guess not.

Because!!!!! If you had!!!!!

You would have realized that it was for comedic purposes, and not for logical arguments... Thank you for pointing out that the comment that I had made, which was intended to be stupid, was stupid...

You WIN the PRIZE!!!! - Your official title is now, "You the guy who burns the guy that you the guy thinks is stupid because you the guy take things too seriously..."

P.S. I love you. (great movie)....(actually, never saw it)....(but i do like you've got mail!!!)


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