Facial Rec Tech Mess 😟

This article is short but meaty. Synopsis: a lot of people are concerned about the current state of facial recognition and what it could mean for the future. I’m going to use the same headings as the MIT post and offer my random thoughts. πŸ’­

The questioners: The call for regulation and safeguards around facial recognition has been sounded. It is definitely a field that warrants a closer look by various watchdog groups due to the concerns and potentials outlined below. πŸ“―

Eye spies: China has a very robust recognition system in place. China is also an authoritarian government that controls information and has a social credit scoring system in place. Facial recognition can allow for a level of monitoring and control that hasn’t been truly feasible until now, whether governmental or military. And when the tech giants are asking for regulation, you know something’s up. Do we want to be like China? πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³

Oh, (big) brother: News flash, facial recognition might not be perfect! My bigger concern is that Amazon’s response to the ACLU’s findings is that “the system was used incorrectly.” Really? That’s the response? Issue #1: blaming the user has not been going well for tech companies lately, not sure this was the best course of action. Issue #2: WHY CAN THE SYSTEM BE USED INCORRECTLY?!?!? Sorry for the yelling, but if the ACLU can use incorrectly that means that every law enforcement agency using the software can also use it incorrectly. This seems like a big problem with the system. Maybe make the system simple and foolproof before sending it out into the wild to determine people’s fates and futures. 🀦 πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

Bias baked in: Nothing new here, but another reminder that bias is a very real factor in these systems and needs to be addressed early and often in the process. One big step to help would be creating and using more diverse data sets. πŸ‘

Src: MIT Tech Review