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Unlocking the Future: Biometrics, AI & Behavioural Science

10 October 2023

In an increasingly digital world, the need for robust and secure authentication methods has never been more critical. Traditional methods, such as passwords and PINs, are no longer sufficient to protect sensitive information. Biometric authentication, which uses unique physical and behavioural characteristics of individuals, has emerged as a promising solution. As we journey into the future, the convergence of biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI), and behavioural science promises to revolutionise not only how we secure our digital identities but also how we interact with technology.


The Evolution of Biometrics

Biometrics, the measurement and statistical analysis of people’s unique physical and behavioural characteristics, have come a long way since its inception. In fact, the earliest accounts of biometrics can be dated as far back as 500BC in Babylonian empire, the first record of a biometric identification system was in 1800s, Paris, France. Alphonse Bertillon developed a method of specific body measurements for the classification and comparison of criminals. 

Early biometric systems in the mid 1900’s relied primarily on fingerprints, but recent advancements have expanded the possibilities. Today, biometric authentication encompasses a wide range of modalities, including facial recognition, iris scanning, voice recognition, and even behavioural biometrics.


AI and Biometrics: A Synergetic Partnership

Artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning, plays a pivotal role in the evolution of biometrics. AI algorithms have the ability to process vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, making them well-suited for biometric recognition tasks. Machine learning models can adapt and improve over time, refining their ability to identify individuals with greater precision.

One of the key advantages of AI in biometrics is its potential to address security vulnerabilities. Unlike static passwords or PINs, biometric data is not easily replicable. However, it’s not without challenges. AI-powered biometric systems must grapple with issues such as privacy concerns, potential bias in recognition algorithms, and the risk of data breaches. Striking a balance between security and privacy will be crucial as these technologies continue to advance.

In recent years, AI has improved the accuracy of some Biometric technology from around 70% to 99%.


Behavioural Biometrics: A New Frontier

Beyond physical attributes like fingerprints and facial features, behavioural biometrics are emerging as a powerful tool in the authentication arsenal. Behavioural biometrics analyse how individuals interact with devices and systems. This includes keystroke dynamics, mouse movements, and even how a person holds their smartphone. By recognising these subtle patterns, systems can verify a user’s identity without relying solely on static characteristics.

The power of behavioural biometrics lies in its continuous authentication capabilities. Rather than a one-time verification process, behavioural biometrics can continuously assess and adapt to user behaviour. If a system detects unusual behaviour, it can prompt for additional verification, adding an extra layer of security.


The Intersection of Biometrics, AI, and Behavioural Science

The convergence of biometrics, AI, and behavioural science presents an exciting frontier in the world of authentication. Behavioural science, which studies human behaviour and decision-making, can provide valuable insights into how individuals interact with technology. By combining these insights with AI-driven biometrics, we can create more intuitive and user-friendly authentication experiences.

For example, AI can analyse user behaviour to create personalised security profiles. This means that your device could learn how you typically interact with it and use that as a basis for comparison. If there’s a significant deviation from your usual behaviour, the system can trigger additional security measures.

Moreover, the intersection of these fields holds promise in areas beyond security. For instance, healthcare providers are exploring how biometrics and behavioural science can be used to monitor and improve patient well-being. By tracking subtle changes in behaviour, healthcare professionals can detect early warning signs of health issues.


Challenges and Considerations

As we embrace the future of biometrics, it’s essential to address several challenges:

  • Privacy Concerns: Collecting and storing biometric data raises privacy issues. Clear regulations and consent mechanisms are vital.
  • Ethical Use: Ensuring that biometrics are used ethically and responsibly is crucial to avoid misuse.
  • Bias Mitigation: AI algorithms must be rigorously tested and trained to minimise bias, ensuring fairness and equity in recognition.
  • Security: Protecting biometric data from theft or hacking is paramount. Robust encryption and authentication protocols are essential.

Numerous privacy concerns have diminished significantly in recent times. This shift is attributed to the widespread adoption of biometric technologies that rely on encrypted templates instead of raw images. In fact, this approach is deemed more secure than traditional documents featuring an individual’s photograph.

The future of biometrics is an exciting and transformative one. As AI and behavioural science converge with biometric authentication, we can anticipate more secure, user-friendly, and privacy-conscious systems. These innovations have the potential to reshape how we interact with technology, from unlocking our smartphones to accessing our most sensitive information. However, we must navigate the challenges with caution and responsibility to ensure that this future is one that we can trust and embrace.

Arana Security’s development team are working to integrate AI technology into our Biometric management system. We believe that the future of biometrics lies within AI and we hope to provide solutions that will help clients bring their organisation into the future.