Face recognition refers to a computer application that facilitates the identification and verification of an individual from a video or digital image. It identifies a person by comparing his or her facial features with images from a facial database. Face recognition is most widely used as a security tool in law enforcement departments, custom offices, and casinos. It is a form of biometrics, and it is comparable to iris and fingerprint recognition.

The first major attempt at creating a face recognition system was made by Finnish researcher Teuvo Kohonen in the early 1980s. He developed a system that made use of a neural net to identify aligned and normalized images of faces, but his system was not precise enough to make face recognition a success. In 1989, Kirby and Sirovich made use of algebraic manipulation to design a more accurate face recognition system, and about two years later, Turk and Pentland developed a reliable system that could achieve real-time identification of faces. Face recognition systems were commercially available in the 1990s.

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