1. The stigma of wearing a face mask in western culture is changing.
Many people suffer from allergies and the side effects of breathing in air pollution .
In a lot of countries, particularly east Asia, it has been the norm for people to wear masks in public if they are sick, have other respiratory problems or allergies, or simply want to filter out the air pollution .
People don’t think anything of it, it’s just been an accepted practice, and you are not stigmatized or ridiculed for caring about your personal health and the health of others.
I should point out that Asia Pacific (APAC) is currently my region of location.
On the whole, there is no clear-cut definition of “Asia-Pacific” , “Austral-Asia” , “Oceania” and the regions included change depending on the context. eg. Politics, Economics, Health, International Trade, Sport etc
Below is an article from World Population Review which gives a good explanation and list of countries included in APAC.
APAC Countries | Asia-Pacific Countries 2020 – worldpopulationreview.com
However, the country I am in, while part of APAC, is also considered a western country .
Like many western countries, prior to the global pandemic, it was the opposite .
People were stigmatized and considered weak if they wore a mask in public .
It was also considered weak if you isolated yourself and often backlash against you if you didn’t go to work, instead of staying home .
Now many people can work from home and it is expected that you wear a mask in public .
In many cases, others automatically jumped to conclusions, usually the wrong ones, and thought you were hiding something or from someone .
How things can change, literally overnight – Perspective.
2. Facial recognition privacy advocates.
Many people who were and are concerned about facial recognition technology, particuarly AI ( Artificial Intelligence), are thinking about the current circumstances with a little positivity, not all; some people just look for anything to rant and rage about .
Facial recognition is a hard one .
If you think about it, it has been around for a very long time .
Anyone who has had a passport or photo ID; your facial recognition data has been on file and used that whole time.
Every time you look at another person, you activate the facial recognition program in your brain.
You program your brain to recognise people with facial recognition. Some people are better at self programming than others.
Except those who have a hardware/ wiring problem called Prosopagnosia (face blindness).
Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia.
Prosopagnosia – face blindnessRead more at wikipedia.org
“Prosopagnosia (from Greek prósōpon, meaning “face”, and agnōsía, meaning “non-knowledge”), also called face blindness, is a cognitive disorder of face perception in which the ability to recognize familiar faces, including one’s own face (self-recognition), is impaired, while other aspects of visual processing (e.g., object discrimination) and intellectual functioning (e.g., decision-making) remain intact. “
Below is a video of Dr Oliver Sacks by The Sacks Foundation.
“Dr. Sacks talks about people (including himself) who have neurological difficulty recognizing faces, and how they adapt and compensate. From his book, THE MIND’S EYE.” – Youtube Video brief.
Dr Sacks died in 2015 but his books and work live on.
Now, think about your facial characteristics.
- Eyes – colour and shape.
- Hair – colour, type or bald, facial hair.
- Nose – shape, size.
- Mouth – size, lip shape.
- Shape of your face in general, bone structure.
- Shape of your features in general .
- Skin – colour, condition, identifiable marks.
You can physically change your:
- Colour with contact lenses.
- Shape with the use of temporary cosmetic make-up or permanent surgery.
- Colour with temporary or permanent colours.
- Style or cut your hair.
- Wear a wig, hat or head scarf.
- Grow a beard or moustache.
Below is an Instagram embed highlighting the transformation with a head covering, contact lenses and makeup . Click through the 5 images >>
- Temporary prosthetics or cosmetic make- up.
- Permanent surgery.
- Surgery, injections, cosmetic make-up, and even false teeth or veneers over your teeth.
- Make-up artistry with shading.
- Losing or gaining weight.
Skin is harder to change completely but can be altered with:
- Cosmetic make-up.
- Tanning lotions.
- Whitening lotions.
- Advanced thin prosthetic covering.
Below is an Instagram video embed highlighting the transformation with skin prosthetics and makeup. Watch and be amazed.!
You can digitally change your face with just about any photo app on any digital phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
In todays world, you exist in two parallel worlds within the one sphere, the physical and the digital, whether you choose to or not .
Your digital existence will outlive your physical existence .
If you wear a mask, your nose, mouth and lower face shape is covered .
For security reasons, facial recognition is important.
For example, with your phone, so that only you or authorised people can access it and your private files.
You can simply remove your personal mask when in a private isolated area.
The problem arises when your face is used by others without your consent, known as ” identity theft “, and in most countries it is a genuine legal term that is directly related to a genuine legally punishable crime.
AI can not only create fictional faces quickly, but it can replicate your face extremely fast and digitally (not physically) place you anywhere, commonly referred to as “deep fakes”.
No different to us changing how we look or replicating our own face for personal use with a Photo etc , except for the speed and accuracy at which we do it.
Some humans are just as accurate if not better at facial recognition, but lack the processing power and storage capacity to access a larger data base in their heads, but can be just as accurate .
The difference is the accessibilty, how it is used, and consent .
Will AI and cameras with infra red and X- ray, be able to scan for recognition of bone structure, cutting through the superficial exterior ?
Will DNA be used for personal identification, and possibly open up another can of worms regarding personal privacy and personal ownership of our own DNA – our own individual code that makes us who we are ?
Thanks for spending some time travelling through a rabbit hole with me .
It’s more like a rabbit warren with many tunnels diverging and intersecting .