Jul 3, 2018

Facial recognition's moral dilemma

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies that focus on AI-powered computer vision "are struggling to balance business opportunities with difficult moral decisions that could turn off customers or their own workers," the AP's Matt O'Brien reports.

Why it matters: It’s part of a growing wave of concern about how Artificial Intelligence technology is used, especially involving facial recognition, Axios' Ina Fried emails.

Details:

  • A CIA-backed venture capital fund was spurned by Boston startup Affectiva, which makes face scanning tech.
  • CEO Rana el Kaliouby told the AP "it’s not hard to imagine using real-time face recognition to pick up on dishonesty — or, in the hands of an authoritarian regime, to monitor reaction to political speech in order to root out dissent."
  • The CIA's venture arm also approached facial recognition firm Kairos, CEO Brian Brackeen told Axios' Kaveh Waddell.
  • "As the black chief executive of a software company developing facial recognition services, I have a personal connection to the technology, both culturally and socially," Brackeen wrote in an op-ed.

Between the lines: China is apparently avidly investing in, and developing facial recognition tech, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva emails.

  • "Facial recognition — and more broadly, image recognition — has a range of applications, so everyone from tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, to startups have been working on it."
  • That includes "auto-recognition of Facebook photos, image search, detecting road elements, scanning documents — all kinds of applications."

Go deeper: IBM releases image data to improve facial recognition AI

Go deeper

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

2 hours ago - Sports

The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.

The technology of witnessing brutality

Charging Alabama state troopers pass by fallen demonstrators in Selma on March 7, 1965. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The ways Americans capture and share records of racist violence and police misconduct keep changing, but the pain of the underlying injustices they chronicle remains a stubborn constant.

Driving the news: After George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked wide protests, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Thank God a young person had a camera to video it."