FBI Wants Better Automated Image Analysis for Tattoos

It’s a tougher problem than facial recognition

3 min read
FBI Wants Better Automated Image Analysis for Tattoos
Photo: iStockphoto

Nothing makes a statement quite like a tattoo. And law enforcement in the United States increasingly uses them to help identify criminals and, sometimes, the victims of crime or natural disasters.

Today police take photographs of tattoos when suspects are booked, categorizing them using keywords defined in a biometric standard called ANSI-NIST-ITL 1-2011. The standard has eight main categories, such as “animal” and “plant,” as well as 70 subcategories, such as “cat,” “bird,” “flower,” and “leaf.” The FBI maintains a database of tattoos as part of its Next Generation Identification Program, but searching by keyword is problematic because the categories aren’t granular enough and different people often tag the same tattoo differently.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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