Facial Recognition

Google Street View has recently been in the news for blurring out the face of a cow, grazing by the river Cam in Cambridge. The facial recognition software is attracted, it seems, to anything that has eyes and looks like it might be a face. How long before its attention is drawn to other things that (to me at any rate) seem to have recognisable features?

I’m not one for seeing faces in clouds, or in odd rock formations or even on the mottled golden brown of a fried pancake; other people exclaim about these phenomena and I still just see what’s there in front of me – usually. But there is a certain tree, at the corner of a path I take nearly every day, that just – well, looks at me as I approach. I’ve tried to see it just as a tree, interesting, beautiful, unique – but, I’m sorry, it’s all these things too but as well as that, I have to admit that it has a face. I have to admit, too, that I often smile or give it a greeting of some sort as I walk past. It really is odd, but we humans are so programmed to respond to anything that seems to have eyes, a nose and a mouth that we just zoom in on it, and connect. Silly. Foolish. But then again, what does it matter? It’s another small thing that makes me smile….

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11 thoughts on “Facial Recognition

    1. Ho ho! Predictive text plays merry he’ll with my typing (there’s a grand example) I mean HELL with my typing….grrrrr!! Know what you mean. (And it’s always nice to get its and it’s under control). As for the tree – yes, who knows? Maybe it’s its own greatest surprise, if you see what I mean. 😊

    1. You’ve got it. In real life it’s startlingly obvions, I wasn’t sure if it would be as clear to see in a photograph. But even then, some people will see it send others not….😊

  1. He has a lovely, grumpy face. If he ever spoke to you, I feel sure he’d be full of friendly bluster. My life is intense lately, with little time for poems and trees–so this was a breath of warm green air. Thanks for posting it. I’ll make time today to picture you walking beneath your neighborly tree.

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