Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"If you turn away from the natural gifts that God has given you, or the universe has given you, you're going to grow old too soon."
- Ray Bradbury

Separated At Birth Database  
  Missing persons database uses similarity to famous people.  

What is the best way to ask people if they've seen a missing person?

"Tommy Lee Jones," the black man said... "You look like him.."


"Was an actor, man... You Rydell. Ran you on Separated at Birth."

Separated at Birth was a police program you used in missing persons cases. You scanned a photo of the person you wanted, got back the names of half a dozen celebrities who looked vaguely like th subject, then went around asking people if they'd seen anybody lately who reminded them of A,B,C... The weird thing was, it worked better than just showing them a picture of the subject. The instructor at the Academy in Knoxville had told Rydell's class that that was because it tapped into the part of the brain that kept track of celebrities.

From Virtual Light, by William Gibson.
Published by Bantam in 1993
Additional resources -

As far as I know, there is no existing example of this idea in use by police agencies. However, there is a site called MyHeritage Face Recognition that will allow you to upload a face and find out which celebrity you might resemble.

I tried it with a picture of Tommy Lee Jones - and the site correctly recognized the actor. I then picked at random a picture of Jesse James, the famous 19th century American outlaw. MyHeritage thinks that he closely resembles Alan Turing, the 20th century mathematician.

Thanks to John for pointing this one out.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Virtual Light
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Virtual Light
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Separated At Birth Database-related news articles:
  - Lookalike 'Wanted' Leaflet Features Harry Potter Actor

Articles related to Computer
Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
Digital Immortality For Your Personality
Computer Finds Cancer Doctors Miss
Melomics Avant Garde Computer Musician

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.