(TIME) — Artificial intelligence has helped identify thousands of unknown Civil War soldiers. Here’s how it works.
Thousands of the unknown men have already been identified, and in 2020 the site is planning to add a new feature. Here's what to know.
The facial recognition technology for Civil War Photo Sleuth uses a set of 27 facial landmarks, such as the corners of the mouth or the tip of the nose, to analyze a given photo. Faces have different proportions, so the software calculates various distances between facial landmarks in the uploaded portrait — such as the distance between left pupil and right pupil — and then looks for photos with similar distances between different facial features. (Sometimes discoloration or holes in such old images can obscure these facial landmarks and prevent identifications.)