Samsung’s Trailing AI Limits S8 Facial Recognition Accuracy

by Tim Sloane 0

Samsung, slow to recognize the importance of Machine Learning having only acquired Viv in late 2016, now has a problem with the accuracy of its facial recognition software in its new flagship Galaxy S8 product:

“Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S8 is packed with interesting new features, but a few of them haven’t been received quite as well as the phone maker might have hoped they would be. One of those features is facial recognition, which is perhaps the easiest biometric authentication method to trick.

Considering the security concerns surrounding facial recognition, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it will be quite some time before the feature is used for secure mobile payments.”

As Mercator has identified in two recent reports (Biometrics: A New Wrinkle Changes the Authentication Landscape Biometrics: A Market Forecast for Consumer Adoption, multifactor authentication utilizing behavioral biometrics will almost certainly be the most common authentication method in 5 years, so this statement by Samsung rings true:

“Samsung sources and industry watchers tell The Korea Herald that it could be more than four years before Samsung has improved the facial recognition technology enough to use it with mobile payments. Although it is more convenient than other biometric unlocks, it can still be fooled with a photograph.

“In order for facial recognition to be solely used for financial transactions, it would take more than four years considering the current camera and deep learning technology levels,” a source from Samsung told The Korea Herald. But even when the technology is ready, it’s unclear if Samsung will use it.

‘We do not need to use facial recognition for mobile financial transactions because there are already high-level biometric technologies such as iris and fingerprint recognition,’ a Samsung spokesperson told The Korea Herald. ‘The question that when it will be used is meaningless.’ ”

While facial recognition may be one component of that multifactor calculation other attributes will also add weight to the trust metric. The good news for Samsung is that authentication solutions, including facial recognition, can be easily updated through the cloud, so the suggestion that it might take 4 years to improve is overly pessimistic.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

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