The topic of human facial analysis has engaged researchers in multiple fields including computer vision, biometrics, forensics, cognitive psychology and medicine. Interest in this topic has been fueled by scientific advances that suggest insight into a person’s identity, intent, attitude as well as health solely based on their face images.

The “What’s in a Face?” workshop aims to provide a forum for interdisciplinary exchange on the topic of human face. The interdisciplinary aspect will promote a lively exchange of ideas between researchers in computer vision, biometrics, cognitive psychology and forensics. This exchange will be facilitated by invited talks from leading researchers in these disciplines. Additionally, a panel session will be conducted to bring to the fore new perspectives and promote active collaboration between these disciplines. 

Computer vision sees the human face as a natural object and aims to perform the tasks of detection, tracking, coding and matching from images and videos. The task of facial recognition, for the purpose of establishing human identity, is the central focus in biometrics, where face images have also been used to deduce soft biometric attributes such as an individual’s age, gender and ethnicity. In forensics, local facial features such as moles, scars, tattoos and wrinkles have been used to validate identity in one-to-one matching cases involving photos. In speech forensics, face videos have been used in conjunction with audio streams to enhance the reliability of speech recognition through the use of audio-visual cues. Real-time face tracking, coupled with the use of soft biometric features, has allowed for new applications, such as continuous user monitoring and authentication in work environments. In cognitive vision and social psychology, videos and images of faces have been analyzed to infer an individual’s emotional state or to detect interpersonal deception. The neuropsychological processes pertaining to how humans recognize faces has also been actively studied over several decades. From a medical perspective, face images may also offer information about an individual’s health. More recently, facial images have been used to study familial relationships.

The above observations lead to the tantalizing question: “What’s in a Face?”