Short for computer vision dazzle, CV dazzle prevents facial recognition systems from working properly. It’s as simple as drawing a couple black and white splotches on the face to block the computer from picking out the nose and cheekbone shadows it usually uses to match image with identity.
Developed by NYU artist Adam Harvey, the technique that is used today primarily to provoke thought, may also foreshadow a dystopian future in which wearing clown makeup becomes the norm. Robinson Meyer, a writer for The Atlantic, recently wore CV dazzle and went about his business for several days to see if it would work and how people would react.
"I commuted in the dazzle; I went to work in the dazzle; I got burgers and popsicles in the dazzle," he wrote. "... The very thing that makes you invisible to computers makes you glaringly obvious to other humans."