Instagram wants people who use the app not to lie about their age so they can use the social network without restrictions, and is working on new features to verify it in a much more accurate way. According to The Verge, the company has turned to an external company specialized in artificial intelligence to include in its platform a function that scans the face of users to estimate their real age.
For a few months now, Instagram has forced users to enter their 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 corresponds to them. To avoid this, the platform asked some users to verify it through identity documents. Now, it will do it through a face scanner.
John’s service, which plans to include Instagram, allegedly uses an artificial intelligence system to detect age through facial signs. Among them, are 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 accurate?
For Instagram’s age verification, the Yoti AI reliability percentage may be sufficient
According to a report published by Yoti, AI capable of scanning faces is not completely accurate when it comes to estimating age on female faces or those with darker skin. Specifically, it reaches an average age of about 3 years less than it would correspond.
However, The Verge, citing external research, claims that accuracy increases to 98.89% when it comes to guessing whether an 18-year-old is over or underage. And this could be enough for Instagram to limit or not the features. Now, users could find ways to circumvent this system, for example, by focusing on a photo of another person of legal age.
Instagram also purports to verify the age of users by asking three mutual followers who have previously verified that they are over 18 years old. 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 tool that tries to guess the age based on the rest of the followers, publications, etc.