Skip to Content
Artificial intelligence

Capital Gazette shooting suspect was identified using face recognition technology

A scan of 10 million Maryland ID photos turned up his identity.

Some background: After a man killed five members of the paper’s staff last week, authorities quickly apprehended a suspect. He did not have an ID on him, refused to cooperate with police, and couldn’t easily be recognized via his fingerprints, so they turned to face recognition software.

How it worked: Police sent a photo they took of the suspect to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, which compared the image with 10 million driver’s license and ID photos in the state’s database. The system came back with a match: Jarrod Ramos. “We would have been much longer in identifying him and being able to push forward,” said Timothy Altomare, chief of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, on why the technology was used.

Why it matters: It’s proof positive that face recognition tech can be useful for law enforcement agencies—but it also raises many privacy questions over how widely they should be able to use the tool. The FBI, for example, currently has access to 16 states’ ID photos.

Deep Dive

Artificial intelligence

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

OpenAI teases an amazing new generative video model called Sora

The firm is sharing Sora with a small group of safety testers but the rest of us will have to wait to learn more.

Google’s Gemini is now in everything. Here’s how you can try it out.

Gmail, Docs, and more will now come with Gemini baked in. But Europeans will have to wait before they can download the app.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.