AI Iris Scanner Can Distinguish Between Eyes Belonging to the Living or the Dead

Credit: A. Czajka, P. Maciejewicz and M. Trokielewicz/ Warsaw University of Technology

Here is a piece of random information for you: according to a studies, post-mortem eyes can be used hours or even days after death for biometric identification.

Researchers at the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland have decided to do something about that. In their paper “Presentation Attack Detection for Cadaver Irises“, the team showcases an AI that can tell the difference between the irises of the living and the dead with 99% accuracy.

An iris scanner uses visible as well as near-infrared light in order to take a high-contrast picture of someone’s iris. Those patterns are converted into code, which are then compared to the database available. Irises are perfect for biometric identification because they do not change in time, not even after being subjected to surgery.

The researchers developed an algorithm which trained their AI on a database of iris scans from various times after death, alongside living iris samples . Then the system was put up against the eyes that had not been included in the database.

Credit:  Adam Czajka

The AI performed well, only making mistakes around 1% of the time. Thing is, the accuracy only holds for irises that are captured 16 hours or more after death, because the differences in the irises are not very pronounced in the first hours. This obviously limits the time frame in which someone could use a dead iris for identification.

Credit:  Adam Czajka

It might sound like a sci-fi approach to a non-existent issue, but as we start using biometrics more and more often in the recent years, you might want to keep your -no pun intended- eyes peeled for the security measures of the future.

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