Using Artificial Intelligence to Put Names to the Faces of Holocaust-Era Photographs

June 28 2022

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the POLIN museum in Warsaw, and many other institutions have extensive collections of photographs taken of ordinary Jews before and during World War II. Yet identifying the people in them is usually only made possible by serendipity. Daniel Patt has devised a way to use computer technology to solve the problem, as Yaakov Schwartz writes:

Patt, a forty-year-old software engineer . . . set to work creating and developing From Numbers to Names (N2N), an artificial intelligence-driven facial-recognition platform that can scan through photos from prewar Europe and the Holocaust, linking them to people living today.

Currently, N2N’s software—which is free and simple to use—only returns the ten best potential matches that it can find in the database available to it. Though not yet perfect, the nonprofit project has already seen great success: the software has been used to search through hundreds of thousands of photos to identify faces for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) as well as individual survivors and descendants of survivors—including a number of celebrities.

Patt, who only works on the project on his own time and with his own resources, has now been joined by a growing team of engineers, data scientists, and researchers, who are constantly expanding the reach and accuracy of the software. In addition to the photos and videos currently available to the platform, Patt is working for N2N to gain access to 700,000 more photos from the pre-Holocaust and Holocaust eras.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Holocaust, Jewish museums, Photography, Technology


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy