Paftan and Pantaf

Very often when I am in conversation with a colleague, one of us asked “Do you know —?” Half the time I am not sure, because the name sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t associate it with a face.

But the moment I see a face, I generally know right away if he or she is somebody I’ve actually met. And then from that image I can recall all sorts of other potentially useful information about the person in question.

Theoretically, if I want to show what somebody looks like I could just take out my phone and speak a name into it. In practice that generally fails because speech to text software doesn’t know to interpret what I am saying as a person’s name.

I wonder whether there is a Paftan (Putting a face to a name) app that is optimized for just this sort of search. Rather than a database of general speech utterances, its machine learning algorithm would be optimized for recognizing peoples’ names when you speak into your phone, and its search results would consist entirely of images of human faces.

Of course the conversation with my colleague might go even better if my phone is also loaded with Pantaf, the complementary app. :-)

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