Instagram starts testing AI that detects age by scanning the face

Instagram is testing new methods to test the age of its users, including a new artificial intelligence tool built by the company Yoti, which will be able to detect age only by facial scanning.

Officially, you need to be at least 13 years old to create an account and use Instagram, but in practice, the company didn’t pay attention to the rule. Until 2019, it was possible to make a profile on the platform without mentioning your date of birth. After criticism from various agencies and experts in privacy and child safety, new age verification rules were implemented.

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Currently, Instagram asks users to verify his age when it identifies that he is a teenager trying to change his age to 18 or older. This verification is done by documents, but from now on, in the United States, there will also be a “social” analysis and an artificial intelligence tool that will estimate the age of the individual. In this social analysis, Instagram will ask three followers of the profile being verified to confirm their age. They will need to be over 18 years of age and will have three days to respond to the request.

The second method will require the user to send a video in a selfie format that will be analyzed by Yoti’s artificial intelligence software that uses machine learning to estimate the person’s age. The company is well known in this field and governments such as Germany and the UK use their software.

You can test the software on the company’s official website here, with it ensuring that none of the shared data will be saved. There is also a chart that shows the program’s error rate.

According to Yoti’s own data, the software is less accurate on female faces and darker skin tones. However, for a broad, not exact result, it has excellent results. A 2020 review showed he had a 98.89% success rate analyzing profiles to see if they were over 18 or under 25.

However, it is worth remembering that Instagram already uses another artificial intelligence tool for age verification. It searches for birthday posts from users and analyzes the age range of their group of friends. In recent years, after several criticisms, the social network sought methods to make the platform safer for teenagers.


Developer: Instagram, Inc.

Price: Free

Size: varies by device

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