Guess Who?

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
17 May 2018

Royal Wedding in AI first

Wedding fever
Nothing says ‘Royal Wedding’ like Poundland pumping out unofficial merch, or Tesco’s ‘recipe’ for Full English Breakfast Nachos in a strange attempt at transatlantic culinary fusion. That or your town council conveniently spending £5k on a screen to show the big event.

We really couldn’t give two hoots, but when tech is involved it all gets a lot more interesting.

Who’s Who
Sky News in the UK has teamed up with tech start-ups and AWS to offer a live Who’s Who of the star-studded occasion. The live stream of the wedding will be shown worldwide, but Sky News will offer this unique way of identifying wedding guests using facial recognition technology.

The feature will be accessible via the Sky News app or online, and will allow viewers to select a guest to find out their name and connection to the Royal couple.

The technology is provided by Amazon Rekognition, which is cloud-based image analysis software. It uses machine learning to identify people and gives viewers a new way of consuming content. Using the technology will be a world first for a live news event.

Using this AI will actually save money (taxpayers need to hear this), as it’ll be cheaper than paying a broadcaster to research and announce each guest as they appear on the screen. It sounds like it could be used in other, more useful situations too. For instance in the House of Commons (would like to see the Tory descriptions), or at international summits.

There’s definitely questions being raised about privacy and the protection of people’s identities though, but that’s another kettle of fish. Did Sky News get permission from everyone attending the wedding to identify them in this way? Probably not.

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