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Old 07-18-2022, 10:01 AM   #11
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

OK, as you might guess, when I ask a question, you know I intend to explore what is written versus what might be reasonable vs "the old way" of doing things from GURPS 3rd edition revised.

Working from ULTRATECH Classic, pg 89, we have facial scanners. It goes into detail that if one were to gain some form of facial modification, that it could fool the scanners. There are however, zero references to skill level of the scanner. My guess is, that like fingerprint scanners and retina scanners, it simply scans the image in front of its sensors and compares it against specific prestored data in a database. If it is a match, good. If not, then not good.

Then on page 95, we have the ability to utilize sensa skin masks, which can fool facial scanners as well.

Page 33 of the same book talks about Optial recognition programs, which can recognize among other things - faces. It is a complexity 4 software pacakge.

Page 88 of the same book tells us:

"A simple closed-circuit video camera, connected to a monitor, is one of the best security systems possible. To be effective, constant human monitoring or a Complexity 4+ computer with the Optical Recognition program, is required."

There is no actual "Skill level" involved here, it simply either recognizes someone inside of a database, or it doesn't. The real issue then, seems to be the issue of how long does it take to recognize someone in a database? A database of 500 people is probably going to be searchable much more quickly than is one with 5 million. There are rules for how long it takes to search a database if I recall correctly...

Ultratech 2 has some more information on this, page 44 being useful, but it more or less rehashes what is already in Ultratech classic. That the information involves wearing vid glasses is the added information for the most part.

Then we have this in GURPS ROBOTS (pg 57):

"A robot will accept someone as a master if a command code validated the order to do so. The robot must be told exactly how to recognize its master. The means of identification depend on the robotís sensor and brain capabilities. Usually, it is a voiceprint, since this will work over radio and out of sight. Occasionally some other means is used (for instance, facial recognition if the robot is not blind and has a brain of Complexity 4 or higher). However, requiring facial recognition (for instance) means that a robot will not obey its masterís orders if it canít see his face, which has obvious drawbacks!"

Again, we're seeing that facial recognition software is deemed to require complexity 4 level computers and/or software for it to be functional.

And finally, we have on page 149 for GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e:

"Silhouette (TL9)
This optical recognition program specializes in identifying targets of military interest and providing background or technical data. The quantity and accuracy of supporting information depends on the databases used. High-quality commercial databases offer expensive subscriptions and constantly updated content, but lack detail. Military databases are usually encrypted and contain very detailed information, including hyperspectral emission profiles, countermeasure tactics, and usage instructions. Military databases require Military Rank or Security Clearance. Complexity 5; double normal cost."

This to me implies that for a Mature TL 9 setting, optical recognition programs are complexity 5 software as opposed to complexity 4 software from GURPS 3e. The databases that contain the information are double the normal price (Possibly that the original silhouette is double the normal cost of a TL 9 complexity 5 program?).

If you look on page 56 under Memory Augmentation, you will find that the databases listed for facial recognition either work or they don't. Either the face is in the database, or it isn't. The wording of all of this implies that the facial recognition works on a yes/no function, not on a variable skill function that requires a roll to see if the database aspect works or not.



Now the real question to ask in all of this is this:

Current sofware capabilities of facial recognition is flawed to a large degree. If today is deemed to be TL 8, and using GURPS ULTRATECH page 8 suggests that we will hit TL 9 at the accelerated rate in the year 2020 (which has come and gone already and we're still TL 8 as best as I know), then we'd have to look at the other "dates" for Progression start dates.


Year 2025 - seems to be way too soon for reliable facial recognition capabilities.

Year 2030 seems to be too soon as well. Conceivably, we might see all of the issues resolved within the next 8 years. I doubt it, but possibly.

Year 2040 MAY be about right. 2050 is deemed to be "Retarded" progression, but when and where it comes to predicting the future, I doubt that GURPS will be 100% on the money (else our authors would be ultra-rich by now with their predictions).

In just about every bit of wording for things involving facial recognition in GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e, there does't seem to be any real "skill" or "attribute" tests involved. Artificial Intelligence software or simply database comparison software that measures, categorizes and then compares data points against other datapoints (much like fingerprint software finds matches) - generally tends to be very reliable.

To that end? I would largely avoid using a "skill" approach to facial recognition software. I would largely suspect that the sheer volume of faces being viewed by software may slow things down a bit, but I would suspect that the way it would work is like this:

Faces can be described by a series of complex mathematical descriptions much as finger prints can. The real problem then, is identifying what "complexity" computer software is required to create "facial pints" data.

https://aws.amazon.com/what-is/facial-recognition/

The link above describes in a little bit more detail what is involved with facial recognition. I was initially searching the net to see if laptop computers can handle facial recognition. Sadly, they can. Equally sadly, those recognition security features can be fooled with a simple photograph. Which in turn, brings us back to facial recognition sensors other than simple video cameras.

For now, I'm simply going with the premise that if a face can be picked out of a crowd at any given time, and the database can be queried fast enough and spit out a response - that real time facial recognition as described in vid glasses and Augmented memory - does indeed function without skill rolls.

Which brings me back to my original point:

One would think that if you have sufficient skills or resources to FOOL a facial recognition scanner, that the Police forces will not be on the tail of a wanted criminal as easily as would happen vs a criminal who lacks those skills or assets. If a criminal learns to lay low and avoid scanners entirely (which may be very difficult in high density areas of a city for example), then again, he can avoid having the police get a lead on their whereabouts. Having a simple "activation" value for the Police as an enemy should be "modified" by a contest of skills between the hunters and the hunted.

Why?

I'm not worried about the narrative of NPCs vs NPCs. I'm more concerned about the narrative of PC's vs NPC's or vice versa, NPCs vs PCs.

Knowing PCs after GM'ing all these years, sooner or later they player characters will become the hunted.
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Old 07-18-2022, 10:43 AM   #12
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Facial recognition based on CCTV feeds is never going to be 100% even if the subject is taking no special precautions because CCTV cameras are at awkward angles to moving targets. The facial scanners are assuming a cooperative subject facing forward at the camera and not moving until its done. While skill roll probably isn't appropriate a pretty large failure chance is everything except chokepoints like the airport where you can get people to stop and cooperate before being allowed to proceed.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:02 AM   #13
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Facial recognition based on CCTV feeds is never going to be 100% even if the subject is taking no special precautions because CCTV cameras are at awkward angles to moving targets.
Nothing actually prevents mounting cameras on posts at eye height in the middle of traffic though. If there is a limit, it can't actually be worse than humans, because humans being that good proves it can be done. Not that people are anywhere near 100% either.

Note that for a really ubiquitous system you only ever need to ID the person [once], he's tracked forward from that point forever. In the case of a system with holes in it like inside people's homes, you can have pretty good confidence the person who looks like you and entered the surveillance network when he exited your front door is you, and not some look alike, particularly given that no look alikes have ever been observed leaving the network at your front door at a time you were somewhere else. Should somebody who doesn't look like a person who routinely enters the surveillance system at a particular point does, especially if there is no record of them leaving the net at a point nearby recently, that's automatically a flag that's someone of special interest who deserves some extra processor time just because they are doing something unusual.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:19 AM   #14
hal
 
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Facial recognition based on CCTV feeds is never going to be 100% even if the subject is taking no special precautions because CCTV cameras are at awkward angles to moving targets. The facial scanners are assuming a cooperative subject facing forward at the camera and not moving until its done. While skill roll probably isn't appropriate a pretty large failure chance is everything except chokepoints like the airport where you can get people to stop and cooperate before being allowed to proceed.
The other thing to keep in mind is this:

Facial Recognition TODAY (aka TL 8) may have certain limitations. Facial Recognition at TL 9 thirty years from now, may very well have overcome those limits.

Just look at what is in GURPS ULTRATECH and then ask yourself "How will this work in a campaign world - what are the implicaitons".

As malloyd points out, there are other factors that can come into play here that make things easier.

Always remember this:

Data link in the old GURPS rules was a complexity 1 software package. If you datalink a Facial sensor camera with a single complexity 5 computer, one that runs a single complexity 5 program, it can also run up to 10,000 data links. Let's be nice and only assume 1,000 data links - because you want to have the ability to do other things.

How long does it take a program to identify a face per the descriptions in say, Memory Augmentation? If at any one given time, there is only ONE potential face in a person's VIEW that is being focused on, the program instantly recognizes the person and pulls up the associated data (see pg 56 of GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e). If there are 40 people in a camera view, tagging each of 40 faces takes what in terms of time? 40 milliseconds instead of 1? How much surveillance can a single complexity 5 computer process? How many people can a complexity 6 computer process? That information is NOT provided.

How long does it take to search a database of a given size in GURPS 4e? GURPS 3e had rules for that...

**shrug**
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
I don't think that was fooling facial recognition - rather, it was fooling some sort of scanner. It was an implant that sent a false result to said scanner, sending a random ID from someone who resembled the person being scanned. I just assumed all the Belters had implanted RFID's or similar, the scanner simply scanned the data from that, and the illegal implant hijacked the signal to send a random entry from a database. The wiki indicates the "scanner" actually takes an IR scan of the target and apparently identifies them based on the arrangement of blood vessels, and the spoofing implant somehow sends a false result, again pulling from a database.
I understood it to be matching random pictures to a given ID, which would fool facial recognition by default as they would be looking for the wrong person...

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Nothing actually prevents mounting cameras on posts at eye height in the middle of traffic though. If there is a limit, it can't actually be worse than humans, because humans being that good proves it can be done. Not that people are anywhere near 100% either.

Note that for a really ubiquitous system you only ever need to ID the person [once], he's tracked forward from that point forever. In the case of a system with holes in it like inside people's homes, you can have pretty good confidence the person who looks like you and entered the surveillance network when he exited your front door is you, and not some look alike, particularly given that no look alikes have ever been observed leaving the network at your front door at a time you were somewhere else. Should somebody who doesn't look like a person who routinely enters the surveillance system at a particular point does, especially if there is no record of them leaving the net at a point nearby recently, that's automatically a flag that's someone of special interest who deserves some extra processor time just because they are doing something unusual.
similar, perhaps, to the iris scanners in Minority Report which are ubiquitous, not least because they are tied into billboards to provide intrusive personalised advertising to passers by. Facial recognition could probably be linked in a similar manner and the the State could simply slurp the hits from the commercial feed. Doesn't need 100% success if there's a scanner every few yards, one of them will pick you up sooner or later...

Last edited by The Colonel; 07-18-2022 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:29 AM   #16
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Nothing actually prevents mounting cameras on posts at eye height in the middle of traffic though.
Some options for this:

Have posts in various locations, with cameras attached to them. You can have these serve a purpose in addition to being a mount for the cameras - an informational kiosk, an ATM, a display of goods for sale, something purely decorative, etc. The issue with doing this is the same as for today - price and accessibility. Price because each camera won't cover as much volume, so you'll need more - potentially a lot more. Accessibility is about accessibility to the public - put something down at eye level, and you're going to have no shortage of people messing with it (covering it up, breaking it, ripping it off the wall and taking it with them, vandalizing the casing with obscenities, etc)... which results in yet more price, as it means needing to frequently replace them.

Have a swarm of nanites with built-in cameras; UT puts this at TL 10. These can function similarly to the posts above, but they're movable and potentially more difficult to detect. Nanoswarms are basically impossible to harden, however, so even a relatively weak magnetic pulse can knock them out (and if you have them packed too densely, a well-timed flick of a lighter can probably take them out).

Use wearable cameras. Giving all employees smart glasses with built-in HUDs and cameras is a potential option, and basically turns every employee into a piece of surveillance equipment. So long as the person's face is visible at some point to an employee, you can identify them, while a more traditional CCTV setup can track them as they go through the store. Note smart glasses would often be useful enough to employees to justify the cost even without the built-in cameras - it lets them quickly pull up an inventory, scan an item, avoid marked hazards (they might overlook a wet floor sign, but seeing flashing warning symbols all over the floor is a different story), etc. Heck, smart glasses would be useful enough you may have a large number of civilians wearing them, so depending on how the law (and/or the EULA nobody bothers to read) is structured, law enforcement may be able to make use of functionally having a massive number of cameras everywhere. Heck, they may not even need to rely specific laws or sneaky EULA's - just access the data that plenty of people are voluntarily streaming over social media.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:34 AM   #17
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Aside from the limitations of the tech, the other problem with ultratech population monitoring is that humans are operating it, and specific people may have reasons to want specific stuff to disappear.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:55 AM   #18
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Price because each camera won't cover as much volume, so you'll need more - potentially a lot more. Accessibility is about accessibility to the public - put something down at eye level, and you're going to have no shortage of people messing with it (covering it up, breaking it, ripping it off the wall and taking it with them, vandalizing the casing with obscenities, etc)... which results in yet more price, as it means needing to frequently replace them.
On the other hand, it's a universal surveillance system, you have really good surveillance records of people who came right up to it to damage it. Send Homeland Security stormtroopers to arrest them, confiscate everything they owned to pay for replacement cameras and dismember them for saleable organs to cover paying the stormtroopers bonuses.
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Old 07-18-2022, 12:03 PM   #19
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
On the other hand, it's a universal surveillance system, you have really good surveillance records of people who came right up to it to damage it. Send Homeland Security stormtroopers to arrest them, confiscate everything they owned to pay for replacement cameras and dismember them for saleable organs to cover paying the stormtroopers bonuses.
They'll obviously take basic precautions to conceal their identities. Guy Fawkes masks and the like.
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Old 07-18-2022, 12:09 PM   #20
malloyd
 
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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
They'll obviously take basic precautions to conceal their identities. Guy Fawkes masks and the like.
Bunches of guys in masks entering the surveillance net sounds like good grounds to send in the troops for an investigation before they get close to anything. Or for the computer controlled autocannon mounted on them to open fire. How [seriously] do you take protecting your cameras? Not that decent cameras are remarkably expensive even now.
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