Pattern Recognition


Amazon votes to keep selling its facial recognition software despite privacy concerns

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon will continue to sell its controversial facial recognition software to law enforcement and other entities after its shareholders shot down a proposal to reel the technology in. The vote effectively kills two initiatives brought before Amazon's board. One proposal would have required board approval to sell the software to governments, with approval only being given if the client meets certain standards of civil liberties. Another proposal called for a study on the technology's implications on rights and privacy. The exact breakdown of the vote is unclear and according to an Amazon representative it will only be made available via SEC filings later this week.


Facial recognition tech prevents crime, police tell UK privacy case

The Guardian

Facial recognition cameras prevent crime, protect the public and do not breach the privacy of innocent people whose images are captured, a police force has argued. Ed Bridges, an office worker from Cardiff, claims South Wales police violated his privacy and data protection rights by using facial recognition technology on him. But Jeremy Johnson QC compared automated facial recognition (AFR) to the use of DNA to solve crimes and said it would have had little impact on Bridges. Johnson, representing the police, said: "AFR is a further technology that potentially has great utility for the prevention of crime, the apprehension of offenders and the protection of the public." The technology maps faces in a crowd and then compares them with a watch list of images, which can include suspects, missing people and persons of interest to the police.


China is using facial recognition to track and monitor giant PANDAS for conservation database

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Surveillance isn't the only application of China's advanced facial recognition software. Conservationists are now using the technology too, as a tool to help protect wild panda populations. According to a report from Xinhua News, researchers at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas in Chengu have begun using facial recognition software to identify the often similar-looking faces and markings of wild pandas. Giant pandas are the latest subject of China's facial recognition software. Conservationists are now using the technology to monitor and track the animals.


Office worker launches UK's first police facial recognition legal action

The Guardian

An office worker who believes his image was captured by facial recognition cameras when he popped out for a sandwich in his lunch break has launched a groundbreaking legal battle against the use of the technology. Supported by the campaign group Liberty, Ed Bridges, from Cardiff, raised money through crowdfunding to pursue the action, claiming the suspected use of the technology on him by South Wales police was an unlawful violation of privacy. Bridges, 36, claims he was distressed by the apparent use of the technology and is also arguing during a three-day hearing at Cardiff civil justice and family centre that it breaches data protection and equality laws. Facial recognition technology maps faces in a crowd and then compares them to a watchlist of images, which can include suspects, missing people and persons of interest to the police. The cameras scan faces in large crowds in public places such as streets, shopping centres, football crowds and music events such as the Notting Hill carnival.


Some Facebook users don't have the option to turn off facial recognition technology, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology. Consumer Reports examined a set of Facebook accounts and found that a significant number didn't have the ability to toggle off Face Recognition, a feature that uses facial recognition technology to identify users in tagged photos. That's despite Facebook announcing almost two years ago that all users would be able to opt out of facial recognition entirely through the setting. A consumer advocacy group has discovered that not all Facebook users have access to a privacy setting that lets them opt out of the site's facial recognition technology Users can control whether they're part of Facebook's facial recognition technology by selecting'privacy shortcuts' in the righthand corner of their News Feed. From there, select'Control face recognition' under Privacy.


If facial recognition is good enough for Taylor Swift, is it good enough for you?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

In this Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, a man, who declined to be identified, has his face painted to represent efforts to defeat facial recognition during a protest at Amazon headquarters over the company's facial recognition system, "Rekognition," in Seattle. San Francisco is on track to become the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies. These days, with facial recognition technology, you've got a face that can launch a thousand applications, so to speak. Sure, you may love the ease of opening your phone just by facing it instead of tapping in a code. But how do you feel about having your mug scanned, identifying you as you drive across a bridge, when you board an airplane or to confirm you're not a stalker on your way into a Taylor Swift concert?


What the ban on facial recognition tech will – and will not – do WeLiveSecurity

#artificialintelligence

As San Francisco moves to regulate the use of facial recognition systems, we reflect on some of the many'faces' of the fast-growing technology Last week, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban the use of facial recognition technology, at least by law enforcement, local agencies, and the city's transport authority. My immediate reaction to the headlines was that this was great for individuals' privacy, a truly bold decision by the San Francisco board of supervisors. The ordinance actually covers more than just facial recognition, as it states the following: "'Surveillance Technology' means any software, electronic device, system utilizing an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.". The ban excludes San Francisco's airport and sea port as these are operated by federal agencies. Nor does it mean that no individual, company or other organizations installing surveillance systems that include facial recognition, and the agencies banned from using the technology, can cooperate with the people allowed to use it.


Artificial Intelligence in Health Care--Will the Value Match the Hype?

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and its many related applications (ie, big data, deep analytics, machine learning) have entered medicine's "magic bullet" phase. Desperate for a solution for the never-ending challenges of cost, quality, equity, and access, a steady stream of books, articles, and corporate pronouncements makes it seem like health care is on the cusp of an "AI revolution," one that will finally result in high-value care. While AI has been responsible for some stunning advances, particularly in the area of visual pattern recognition,1-3 a major challenge will be in converting AI-derived predictions or recommendations into effective action. The most pressing problem with the US health care system is not a lack of data or analytics but changing the behavior of millions of patients and clinicians. Physician behaviors, including ordering tests, procedures, pharmaceuticals, and other treatments, are responsible for 80% of health care costs.


AI Weekly: Facial recognition policy makers debate temporary moratorium vs. permanent ban

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On Tuesday, in an 8-1 tally, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban the use of facial recognition software by city departments, including police. Supporters of the ban cited racial inequality in audits of facial recognition software from companies like Amazon and Microsoft, as well as dystopian surveillance happening now in China. At the core of arguments around the regulation of facial recognition software use is the question of whether a temporary moratorium should be put in place until police and governments adopt policies and standards or it should be permanently banned. Some believe facial recognition software can be used to exonerate the innocent and that more time is needed to gather information. Others, like San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, believe that even if AI systems achieve racial parity, facial recognition is a "uniquely dangerous and oppressive technology."


SF Facial Recognition Ban: What Now For AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

#artificialintelligence

Recently San Francisco passed – in an 8-to-1 vote -- a ban on local agencies to use facial recognition technologies. The move is likely not to be a one-off either. Other local governments are exploring similar prohibitions, so as to deal with the potential Orwellian risks that the technology may harm people's privacy. "In the mad dash towards AI and analytics, we often turn a blind eye to their long-range societal implications which can lead to startling conclusions," said Kon Leong, who is the CEO of ZL Technologies. Yet some tech companies are getting proactive.