Odd e-fit/Wir hatten nur lange Schnurrbärte auf dem Polizeirechner

The BBC reports that an identikit picture of a burglary suspect looked so strange that the victim of a robbery feared it would not help find him.

I see this is referred to as an ‘e-fit image’. Google reveals the superordinate term facial composite, and sub-categories identikit, photofit, e-fit. Sorry, that should be E-fit – because it’s a trademark. Here is more:

bq. The composite facial system currently favoured by the U.K. police, and used in 18 other countries, is known as ‘E-FIT’ (Electronic-Facial Identification Technique). Despite the major improvements achieved over earlier systems such as IdentiKit and PhotoFit, some inherent weaknesses have been identified in the E-FIT system. The E-FIT system is fundamentally based on the selection of individual facial features (eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows etc) from a large library that are electronically “blended” to make the composite image. There is, however, a considerable body of evidence to suggest that the task of face recognition and synthesis does not lend itself to simple decomposition into features and is at least partly, a global process

Ein Phantombild (siehe BBC-Bericht) wurde kritisiert, da der Einbrecher “nicht ganz so merkwürdig aussah … Auf dem Bild hat er nur ein halbes Ohr, aber das stimmt nicht. Und sein Schnurrbart sah anders aus … anscheinend hatte die Polizei auf ihrem Rechner nur lange Schnurrbärte, und sie musste die Seiten abschneiden…Jemand, der so aussieht, habe ich nie in Stalham oder sonstwo in meinem ganzen Leben gesehen”. Die Polizei weigerte sich, das Bild zu kommentieren, da es die Untersuchung gefährden könne.

Thanks, as usual, to kalebeul.

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