March 09, 2021

Army Trains AI to Identify Faces in the Dark

Featuring Ainikki Riikonen

Source: IEEE Spectrum

Journalist Jeremy Hsu

Facial recognition has already come a long way since U.S. Special Operations Forces used the technology to help identify Osama bin Laden after killing the Al-Qaeda leader in his Pakistani hideout in 2011. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently unveiled a dataset of faces designed to help train AI on identifying people even in the dark—a possible expansion of facial recognition capabilities that some experts warn could lead to expanded surveillance beyond the battlefield.

The Army Research Laboratory Visible and Thermal Face dataset contains 500,000 images from 395 people. Despite its modest size as far as facial recognition datasets go, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive datasets that includes matching images of people’s faces taken under both ordinary visible-light conditions and with heat-sensing thermal cameras in low-light conditions.

Read the full story and more from IEEE Spectrum.


  • Ainikki Riikonen

    Former Research Associate, Technology and National Security Program

    Ainikki Riikonen is a former Research Associate for the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Her research focuses on emer...