IBM abandons facial recognition products and condemns monitoring of racial prejudice: NPR

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IBM announced this week that it would stop selling its facial recognition technology to customers, including the police. The move prompted other tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft to do the same.

Richard Drew / AP

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Richard Drew / AP

IBM announced this week that it would stop selling its facial recognition technology to customers, including the police. The move prompted other tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft to do the same.

Richard Drew / AP

IBM will no longer provide facial recognition technology to the police for mass surveillance and racial profiling, wrote Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM in a letter to Congress.

Krishna wrote that such technology could be used by the police to violate “basic human rights and freedoms”, which would be contrary to the values ​​of the company.

“We believe that the time has come for a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be used by national law enforcement authorities,” said Krishna.

National protests following the police assassination of George Floyd have already led to changes in the country’s police services – on the use of police, police misconduct and police contracts.

The moment to count on the country’s relations with the police also comes as artificial intelligence researchers and technology specialists continue to warn against facial recognition software, in particular on how certain data-based systems have proven to be racially biased. For example, the MIT Media Lab has found that technology often fails to identify the gender of darker-skinned faces, which could lead to misidentification.

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