A new video released just in time for Halloween by Israeli high tech solutions company Mellanox Technologies may not give you a fright, but could spark a desire to watch ‘scary’ films like Silence of the Lambs, Nightmare on Elm Street, or even the Harry Potter movies.
The short clip, touting Mellanox’s AI-powered facial recognition software, depicts famous villains like Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal Lecter, Freddy Kruger, and Lord Voldemort in innocent garb supposedly trying to hide their true identities — and being caught. The message is that real-life villains cannot escape from facial recognition.
The video is part of the Mellanox Challenge, a game created by the Israeli supplier of computer networking products using InfiniBand and Ethernet technology. It asks players to identify eight evil faces for a chance to win a new iPhone X with the built-in — and controversial — facial recognition technology.
Mellanox is a proud leader of “facial recognition applications of today, enabling better security and aiding law enforcement organizations to recognize and neutralize evil-doers, all around the world,” the Israel-based company said in a statement.
Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman wants to leverage the technology to create a better, safer world, free of criminal wrongdoing.
“You’ll be able to identify people who have committed a crime. And you’ll be able to identify people who are planning to do a crime, by tracking their phone calls,” Waldman told the Jerusalem Post earlier this month, deflecting questions about potential privacy violations such technology could enable.
“The streets will be monitored, you’ll know where everyone is, and there’ll be very little fraud,” he envisioned.
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Providing data solutions for the future
Currently, the Israeli company is developing data processing solutions for cybersecurity, robots, automated cars, and now facial recognition providers and is delving into “Big Data.” Among its customers are major corporations like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Oracle (which also owns 10%), Viacom, Comcast and JPMorgan.
Waldman says faster computing power and collection of data will change the world and help companies provide better services. “There’ll be drones that can take you from place to place. There’ll be no traffic jams, no parking problems,” he told the Jerusalem Post. “The flight or the time between your office and your home will be a fraction of what it is today.”
Mellanox employs nearly 3,000 employees in offices across Israel, with headquarters in Yokneam Illit, and over 100 Palestinian engineers based in the West Bank and Gaza. Waldman says they are paid in Israeli currency and employing them costs less than relocating to Eastern Europe, for example.
The company, worth an estimated $2.3 million, has faced some pressure to move its headquarters to the United States, where it earns some 50 percent of its revenue, but Waldman, who co-founded Mellanox in 1999 with Shai Cohen, says they have plans to stay put. “We think that there’s a big advantage to be in Israel in terms of culture, solving problems, loyalty, and so on,” he said in the interview.
Earlier this year, a different video earned Mellanox some major attention. In April 2017, NoCamels reported that Mellanox produced a viral video showing world leaders like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shaking hands 20 years into the future. While the innovative video was posted on April Fools Day, the campaign demonstrated how AI technologies could help create a better future for the world.
Photos and Video: Courtesy, Freddy Agurto Parra , Mellanox Technologies.