Software engineer creates software that identifies anonymous faces in WWII photos

WWII Infantry Soldier

According to a story first published by The Times of Israel, a software engineer in New York has developed an AI that searches through millions of pictures to identify Holocaust victims and survivors.

A platform called From Number to Names (N2N) uses artificial intelligence to recognize faces in pictures taken during the Holocaust and in prewar Europe. According to the story, Daniel Patt, a 40-year-old software engineer who is currently employed by Google, works on the project in his own time and with his own resources, although he is being assisted by an expanding team of engineers, researchers, and data scientists.

WWII Infantry SoldierThe United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) website claims that there is no comprehensive list of Holocaust victims and survivors and that finding individual tales involves a laborious process of following leads based on scant information.

According to The Times of Israel, Patt was inspired to develop the AI while visiting the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw in 2016. Patt created N2N in order to assist his family and others in locating photographs of slain loved ones because he was haunted by the thought of accidentally walking by the faces of relatives.

According to The Times of Israel, N2N searches through tens of thousands of photos made accessible by the USHMM as well as pictures taken by specific survivors and their ancestors. According to Patt, his team does not make any software-based claims on the reliability of the identification; instead, it is up to site visitors to make that determination. In an interview with The Times of Israel, Patt states, “We just display results, with similarity scores, and let people determine whether the data constitute a positive identification.”

Patt informed The Times of Israel that he is aiming to acquire an additional 700,000 images from the pre-Holocaust and Holocaust periods in addition to the photos and videos already present on the website.

In the future, Patt added in the interview, “We'd like for N2N to become a vehicle for Holocaust teaching, offering students the opportunity to directly contribute to the historical record.” Students can use the software to identify people and artifacts in photo and video archives, as well as possibly find new relationships between current Holocaust survivors and their relatives.

According to Patt, the NGO and the USHMM have had informal communication. However, Patt expects to work with “museums, schools, research institutions, and other groups which have common aims surrounding Holocaust education, awareness, and so on” in the future.

Patt told The Times of Israel, “We have been creating the concept over the course of evenings and weekends for several months.

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About the Author: John Ravenporton

John Ravenporton is a writer for many popular online publications. John is now our chief editor at DailyTechFeed. John specializes in Crypto, Software, Computer and Tech related articles.