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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Study using artificial intelligence reveals that fingerprints may not be as unique as previously thought


PARIS – “Have you ever wondered if​ every fingerprint is truly unique?”

That’s the question that sparked Gabe Guo’s curiosity during the COVID-19 lockdowns. As a freshman at Columbia University, he found himself engrossed in a conversation with a professor that⁤ would ultimately shape the next three years of ⁤his life.

Now a senior in Columbia’s Department of Computer Science, Guo led ‍a‍ groundbreaking study that ⁢challenges the long-held belief that every fingerprint is‍ distinct. ⁣Teaming up with​ Professor⁢ Wenyao Xu of the ‌University⁣ of Buffalo, their research, published in Science Advances, has stirred up controversy in the forensics community.

Uncovering Surprising Results

The study utilized an artificial intelligence model called a deep ⁣contrastive network ‍to analyze a U.S. government database⁣ of 60,000⁤ fingerprints. The AI system ⁢found that fingerprints from different fingers of the same ⁣person shared strong‌ similarities, debunking the notion of absolute uniqueness.

Guo explained,⁢ “We found a rigorous explanation for why this is the case: the angles and ‌curvatures at the center of the fingerprint.”

While the study acknowledges ⁣potential biases in the data,⁤ Guo is confident that ‌this discovery can revolutionize criminal investigations. “This can help generate new ⁤leads for cold cases and prevent innocent‌ people⁢ from being unnecessarily ‌investigated,” he said.

Debating‍ the Findings

However, not​ everyone is convinced. Forensic science professor Christophe Champod believes that the study has merely rediscovered something known for years. On the other hand, Simon Cole, a professor in criminology, ⁢law, and‍ society,⁤ acknowledges the study’s interest but questions its ‍practical utility.

Despite the skepticism,⁤ Guo and his team stand by their results and have open-sourced​ the AI code for others to verify. Guo believes that this study​ is⁣ just the beginning of AI’s potential to uncover hidden truths that have been overlooked by humans for centuries.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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