Instagram wants people who use the app not to lie about their age to be able to use the social network without restrictions, and is working on new features to verify it in a much more precise way. According to TheVergethe company has turned to an external company specialized in artificial intelligence to include in its platform a feature that scans the users face in order to estimate the real age.
Since a few months, Instagram forces users a enter your date of birth manually. And it is that the app, remember, is only accessible to people over 13 years of age. In this way, those of legal age will be able to use all the functions freely and without restrictions, while those between 13 and 17 years of age will find limitations in some of the features.
The problem is that many people can lie about their age on Instagram and select a different date than the one that really corresponds to it. To avoid this, the platform asked some users to verify it through identity documents. Now, it will do it through a face scanner.
The Yoti service that plans to include Instagram uses an artificial intelligence system, allegedly, to detect age through signs of the face. Among them, wrinkles, face shape, expressions, etc. The company ensures on its website that “age estimation is based on a computer technique known as a “neural network”, trained to “estimate human age through an automatic learning process”. But is this system really accurate?
Yoti’s AI Reliability Percentage Could Be Enough to Verify Age on Instagram
According to a report published by Yoti, AI capable of scanning faces is not completely accurate when it comes to estimating the age of female faces or those with darker skin. Specifically, it arrives to establish an average age of about 3 years less than it would correspond.
Nevertheless, TheVergewhich cites external research, ensures that accuracy increases 98.89% when trying to guess if an 18 year old is over or under age. And this could be enough for Instagram to limit or not the functions. Now, users could find ways to circumvent this system, for example, by focusing on a photo of another person of legal age.
Instagram also intends to verify the age of users asking three mutual followers who have previously verified that they are over 18 years of age. These will have to ensure the age of the user within a maximum period of 3 days. The latter case is probably only applicable when the app cannot correctly verify the date of birth through the rest of the systems. Including its own tool that pretends to guess the age based on the rest of the followers, publications, etc.