Israel hosts 'school of biometrics'
31 March 2020 12:55 GMT

The Identity and Biometric Applications Unit, at Israel's National Cyber Directorate held a "Winter School" with the University of Haifa on Biometric identification, voice recognition, face recognition 

The inaugural Israeli Winter School of Biometrics took place last week 11-13.2.2020 featuring leading researchers, academics and participants from all over the world.

This Seminar is a joint initiative of The Center for Cyber Law and Policy of the University of Haifa and The Identity and Biometric Applications Unit at the National Cyber Directorate of Israel. 

Prof. Anil K. Jain, Senior Researcher from Michigan State University and leading biometric academic authority, expressed during his opening lecture at the event, "that Biometric identification strengthens medical records and medical documentation and enables better and more precise medical care, especially in developing nations".

Professor Jain added that the establishment of Israel’s National Biometric Laboratory within the National Cyber Directorate, alongside other biometric laboratories throughout the world, is an important step that will enhance the overall testing and verification of biometric system performance.

Prof. Arun Ross,  from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University ,explained in his lecture "Introduction to Iris and Periocular Recognition" about the anatomy of the Iris, the importance of using NIR  camera to reveal the texture of the iris, and noted that each iris is unique to an individual, even between identical twins.  

The Second day of the seminar focused on several cutting-edge technology capabilities available in the field of Biometric Identification. Prof. Rita Singh of Carnegie Mellon University, USA, presented her research on voice recognition and said “there should be no doubt in our mind that voice carries out information”. Professor Singh’s presentation highlighted the ability to use voice in order to create a 3D facial image of an individual and even determine whether the individual has an illness or uses drugs. Professor Singh also noted that there is a less than a 1:1012  chance of two people having the same voice.

Dr. Sebastien Marcel from The IDIAP Research Center in Switzerland discussed the latest studies in presentation attacks on biometric systems, including Face Recognition systems. He pointed out that the methods of deception are increasingly more sophisticated and that there is a continuous effort to develop sensors that are able to detect this deception.

The third and final day of the seminar focused on Face recognition. Professor Galit Yovel, of Tel Aviv University, provided a presentation detailing the way humans identify face, in comparison with the way advanced algorithms (AI) perform the same task. Professor Yovel’s research conducted with Mr. Naphtali Abudarham showed that there are five main features that influence face recognition: shape of lips, shape of eyebrows, eye color, skin color and hair. Professor Yovel explained, “When you change these features on a person, not only it makes it difficult for a human to identify that this is the same person, it also affects the performance of the advanced AI algorithms”

Dr. Jonathon Phillips of NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States) presented his research conducted on the performance of face recognition systems and human examiners vs. the ability of AI algorithms. Dr. Phillips stated that we are getting closer to a time where the ability of AI algorithms will be better than the human ability, and suggested to discuss the role of the human examiner in complex biometric systems.


Full event Information: 


The list of speakers and their bios 


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