Apart from the problems illustrated by the images below I think that iPhoto ’09’s Faces feature is conceptually flawed.
The issue I see with it is that I am interested in people rather than in faces and I want to ‘tag’ people in photos and events to simplify finding photos with them later on. Unlike the stock photos in Apple’s demos people don’t always present me their well-lit face at a perfect angle.
One did not expect the face recognition feature in iPhoto ’09 to be perfect. Recognising faces is a hard problem and programmers are not good enough to solve it. But the feature’s implementation is so laughingly bad that it remains unclear how Apple would even consider shipping the feature in an application.
For me the correct face recognitions are far and few between: less than 10% of the faces are recognised correctly and almost half the faces are not even detected to begin with. iPhoto’s clumsy, slow and buggy user interface for fixing its mistakes and filling in the gaps doesn’t help either.
This site gives numerous examples of iPhoto ’09 mistakenly thinking it recognised a face were there is no face at all. In a few cases one can guess why the software thinks that way, but in most of the cases it remains a mystery.
New examples are added whenever I muster the courage to click the face recognition button again. You can subscribe to the RSS feed to keep track of them as they come in.