New Zealand pass­port ro­bot tells ap­pli­cant of Asian de­scent to open eyes

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

SYD­NEY: A New Zealand man of Asian de­scent had his pass­port photograph re­jected when fa­cial recog­ni­tion soft­ware mis­tak­enly reg­is­tered his eyes as be­ing closed. Richard Lee’s at­tempt to re­new his pass­port was blocked af­ter he sub­mit­ted the pic­ture to an on­line pass­port photo checker run by New Zealand’s depart­ment of in­ter­nal af­fairs.

The au­to­mated sys­tem told the 22year-old en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent the photo was in­valid be­cause his eyes were closed, even though they were clearly open, ac­cord­ing to a copy of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion posted on so­cial me­dia site Face­book. “No hard feel­ings on my part, I’ve al­ways had very small eyes and fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy is rel­a­tively new and un­so­phis­ti­cated,” Lee told Reuters. “It was a ro­bot, no hard feel­ings. I got my pass­port re­newed in the end.”

Up to 20 per­cent of pass­port pho­tos sub­mit­ted on­line are re­jected for var­i­ous rea­sons, an In­ter­nal Af­fairs spokesman said. “The most com­mon er­ror is a sub­ject’s eyes be­ing closed and that was the generic er­ror mes­sage sent in this case,” he said. The light­ing in Lee’s first photo was un­even, but a later one was ac­cepted, he added.

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