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Face Recognition by Humans and Machines: Three Fundamental Advances from Deep Learning
Annual Review of Vision Science  (IF6.422),  Pub Date : 2021-09-15, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-vision-093019-111701
Alice J. O'Toole, Carlos D. Castillo

Deep learning models currently achieve human levels of performance on real-world face recognition tasks. We review scientific progress in understanding human face processing using computational approaches based on deep learning. This review is organized around three fundamental advances. First, deep networks trained for face identification generate a representation that retains structured information about the face (e.g., identity, demographics, appearance, social traits, expression) and the input image (e.g., viewpoint, illumination). This forces us to rethink the universe of possible solutions to the problem of inverse optics in vision. Second, deep learning models indicate that high-level visual representations of faces cannot be understood in terms of interpretable features. This has implications for understanding neural tuning and population coding in the high-level visual cortex. Third, learning in deep networks is a multistep process that forces theoretical consideration of diverse categories of learning that can overlap, accumulate over time, and interact. Diverse learning types are needed to model the development of human face processing skills, cross-race effects, and familiarity with individual faces.