Tuesday November 19, 2019
Home Lead Story Microsoft Rej...

Microsoft Rejects Request to Install Facial Recognition Technology in Officers’ Cars and Body Cameras

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found

0
//
facial recognition, microsoft
FILE - Brad Smith of Microsoft takes part in a panel discussion "Cyber, big data and new technologies. Current Internet Governance Challenges: What's Next?" at the United Nations in Geneva, Nov. 9, 2017. VOA

Microsoft recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras because of human rights concerns, company President Brad Smith said Tuesday.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. After thinking through the uneven impact, “we said this technology is not your answer.”

microsoft, facial recognition
Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white, male pictures. Pixabay

Prison contract accepted

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

‘Race to the bottom’

Microsoft said in December it would be open about shortcomings in its facial recognition and asked customers to be transparent about how they intended to use it, while stopping short of ruling out sales to police.

microsoft, facial recognition
“Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan” against a database of suspects, Smith said without naming the agency. Pixabay

Smith has called for greater regulation of facial recognition and other uses of artificial intelligence, and he warned Tuesday that without that, companies amassing the most data might win the race to develop the best AI in a “race to the bottom.”

ALSO READ: Samsung to Inspect Problems Related to Galaxy Fold Screen

He shared the stage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who urged tech companies to refrain from building new tools without weighing their impact.

“Please embody the human rights approach when you are developing technology,” said Bachelet, a former president of Chile. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to name the prospective customers the company turned down. (VOA)

Next Story

Microsoft Pulls Plug On Its Cortana Mobile App For Android and iOS Devices

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices across several countries

0
Microsoft
Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices in several countries. Pixabay

Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Cortana mobile app for both Android and iOS devices in regions such as the UK, Canada, Australia and several other countries.

Beginning January 31, Microsoft will no longer support the digital assistant app in the above-mentioned countries, it said in three regional support notes.

When asked if the iOS and Android apps will also be shuttered in the US, a Microsoft spokesperson said that in addition to Britain, Australia and Canada, affected markets include China, Germany, India, Mexico and Spain, CNet reported on Saturday.

Microsoft
Microsoft will no longer support the digital assistant app in some countries. Pixabay

Notably, the Cortana app is used to configure settings and update firmware for devices like Microsoft’s Surface Headphones.

Lists, reminders and other content created by way of the iOS or Android app will still be accessible via Cortana on Windows, the company said in its support page.

Also Read- Xiaomi Plans To Unveil All Smartphones Over $285 with 5G Support Soon

“Cortana is an integral part of our broader vision to bring the power of conversational computing and productivity to all our platforms and devices,” a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNet. (IANS)