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Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Passenger With Fake Passport At the US Airport

Facial recognition came into play earlier this year when a suspect arrested for a shooting at a newsroom in Annapolis.

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Facial recognition technology is used to screen people before they visit the Statue of Liberty in New York, US.
Facial recognition technology is used to screen people before they visit the Statue of Liberty in New York, US.. Flickr

Facial recognition technology was credited with the arrest this week of a man attempting to use a fake passport to enter the United States at Washington’s Dulles airport, officials said.

Officials said that on the third day of deployment of the new technology, border agents were able to determine that the man was using a fake French passport.

US Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said Dulles is one of 14 “early adopter airports” using facial recognition technology for the entry process and began deploying it Monday.

On Wednesday, a 26-year-old man travelling from Sao Paulo, Brazil sought to enter with a French passport but the facial comparison biometric system determined he was not a match to the passport he presented.

A search revealed the man’s authentic Republic of Congo identification card concealed in his shoe. His name was not released.

The use of facial recognition has been growing for law enforcement, border control and other uses, even as concerns have risen on privacy.

Privacy activists say there are few safeguards on the databases used and that the technology evokes fears of a “Big Brother” surveillance state.

US Airport
US Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said Dulles is one of 14 “early adopter airports” using facial recognition technology for the entry process. Flickr

Heightening those concerns are studies showing facial recognition may not always be accurate, especially for people of color.

The technology is being adopted around the world, with China a heavy user of facial recognition for law enforcement.

The airport border agents use the biometric system to determine if the person is using a real passport, claiming it speeds the entry and exit process.

The agency is also assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a process from check-in to departure in which travellers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass.

The agency said in a release it is “committed to its privacy obligations” and has published several privacy impact assessments.

Also Read: Apple Deletes Security App of Facebook from App Store

Facial recognition came into play earlier this year when a suspect arrested for a shooting at a newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, refused to cooperate with police and could not immediately be identified using the fingerprint. (VOA)

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Intel and Cray Collaborate With U.S. Government, Aims for Nation’s Fastest Computer

The world's current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

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Intel
This Jan. 1, 2018, file photo shows an Intel logo on the box containing an HP desktop computer on sale at a Costco in Pittsburgh. VOA

A U.S. government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel and Cray to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said Monday.

The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they were working on a supercomputer dubbed Aurora with Intel, the world’s biggest supplier of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in the ultra-fast machines.

The $500 million contract for the project calls on the companies to deliver a computer with so-called exaflop performance — that is, being able to perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

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It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers. VOA

If the project succeeds, Aurora would represent nearly an order of magnitude leap over existing machines that feature so-called petaflop performance, capable of doing 1 quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) calculations a second.

It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.

One of Aurora’s primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings.

Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Department of Veterans Affairs prevent suicides, Rick Stevens, an associate lab director with Argonne overseeing the exascale computing project, said during a news
briefing.

The project is a win for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU chips and Optane memory chips for Aurora.

FILE - The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017.
The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017. VOA

Intel has been fending off rival U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp.’s rise in the chip content of supercomputers as the machines take on more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s chips are found in five of the world’s current top 10 supercomputers, though the Nvidia chips are found alongside chips from its rivals, according to TOP500, which ranks the machines.

The world’s current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in trade tensions between the United States and China. The world’s third-fastest supercomputer — the Sunway TaihuLight in China — has chips developed domestically in China.

Also Read: U.S. Tariffs on China Could Remain Same, Even After Reaching The Trade Deal

Chirag Dekate, an analyst with Gartner who studies the supercomputing market, said that despite the small contract size relative to Intel’s overall revenue, the work done on Aurora will eventually filter down to the company’s commercial customers.

“It’s not just a jingoistic race between the U.S. and China,” Dekate said. “The innovations that Intel is developing here will percolate down to other parts of its business.” (VOA)