AI scientists scold Amazon for offering flawed face-recognition tech to the cops

AI scientists scold Amazon for offering flawed face-recognition tech to the cops

By Blair Morris

September 23, 2019

Amazon has actually come under fire before for Rekognition, the facial recognition technology that the business has actually allowed cops to utilize and which has actually led to issues the business is essentially supporting the monitoring state. The technology has actually also come under examination in the past for a range of other reasons, such as the truth that the system might be flawed in such a way that misidentifies minorities, for example.

Now, leading artificial intelligence researchers from across the innovation and scholastic spectrum– consisting of from Amazon rivals, like Google, Microsoft and Facebook– have actually published an open letter via Medium basically scolding Amazon over selling the tech to cops. And, naturally, the letter asks the company to stop.

Mentioning a declaration from Amazon vice president Michael Punke, keeping in mind that the business supports legislation that assists ensure its items aren’t used to infringe on civil liberties, the letter goes on to “call on Amazon to stop selling Rekognition to police as such legislation and safeguards are not in location.”

The letter appears to have actually been stimulated partly by Amazon’s reaction to research study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Happiness Buolamwini. Her screening discovered that software application from business like Amazon– consisting of software that’s provided to cops– would provide higher error rates when attempting to find the gender of dark-skinned women compared to lighter-skinned males. According to an Associated Press report, she consisted of in her research software from Microsoft and IBM, which looked for to fix the issues she recognized.

Amazon, nevertheless, “responded by criticizing her research study methods.” From the AI researchers’ open letter:

There are presently no laws in location to audit Rekognition’s usage, Amazon has actually not disclosed who the clients are, nor what the mistake rates are throughout different intersectional demographics. How can we then make sure that this tool is not poorly being used as (Amazon Web Solutions GM for deep knowing and AI Matthew Wood) states?

What can be relied on, the letter continues, are audits by independent scientists like Buolamwini “with concrete numbers and plainly created, described, and provided experimentation, that shows the types of biases that exist in these items. This important work appropriately raises the alarm on utilizing such immature innovations in high stakes circumstances without a public debate and legislation in location to make sure that civil rights are not infringed.”

Image Source: John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock

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