As an outspoken advocate for properly regulating facial recognition technology, Microsoft
The breakdown you need to know:
After a two-year review and a 27-page document, the tech giant wants tighter controls over its artificial intelligence products. CultureBanx reported that in the past, Microsoft has asked governments around the world to regulate the use of facial recognition technology. The software giant wants to ensure that the technology that has higher error rates for African Americans does not invade personal privacy or become a tool for discrimination or surveillance.
There are some companies that rely heavily on Microsoft’s facial recognition technology. Uber . for example
A lot of damage can be caused by this kind of technology. MIT research shows that commercial artificial intelligence systems tend to have higher error rates for women and black people. Some facial recognition systems would confuse fair-skinned men only 0.8% of the time and would 34.7% error rate for dark-skinned women†
In 2019, Microsoft quietly deleted its MS Celeb database, which contains more than 10 million images. The collected images included journalists, artists, musicians, activists, policy makers, writers and researchers. The deletion came after the tech company called on US politicians to better regulate recognition systems.
In addition, in Microsoft’s 2018 SEC annual report, it noted that “AI algorithms may be flawed. Data sets may be inadequate or contain biased information. If we enable or offer AI solutions that are controversial for their impact on human rights, privacy, , employment or other social issues, we could suffer brand or reputation damage.”
Remember that artificial intelligence systems inherently learn what they are “taught”. The use of facial recognition technology has a disparate impact on people of color, disenfranchising a group already facing inequality. It says a lot about the malicious nature built into AI for a company like Microsoft to throw the technology in the ring. The real question is whether the rest of the industry will do the same.