IBM wanted to help fix AI facial recognition bias. But some aren't happy their photos are involved

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An annotated photo from IBM's Diversity in Faces data set Some photographers who contributed photos to the Flickr photo-sharing site were surprised IBM used those same photos in a million-image collection to train AI face-recognition systems -- but perhaps they shouldn't have been. The photos had been shared under a Creative Commons license, a framework under which people can loosen restrictions on photos, text, video or other material that otherwise would be protected by copyright. CC licenses can bar commercial use or require others using the photos attribute them to their source, but the general idea is to make the work available for others to use. "None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way...It seems a little sketchy that IBM can use these pictures without saying anything to anybody," Greg Peverill-Conti, an executive at public relations firm SharpOrange, told NBC News. IBM used only photos licensed under Creative Commons, and IBM's legal team approved the program, a company representative said.


IBM wanted to help fix AI facial recognition bias. But some aren't happy their photos are involved

#artificialintelligence

An annotated photo from IBM's Diversity in Faces data set. Some photographers who contributed photos to the Flickr photo-sharing site were surprised IBM used those same photos in a million-image collection to train AI face-recognition systems -- but perhaps they shouldn't have been. The Flickr photos had been shared under a Creative Commons license, a framework under which people can loosen restrictions on photos, text, video or other material that otherwise would be protected by copyright. CC licenses can bar commercial use or require others using the photos to attribute them to their source, but the general idea is to make the work available for others to use. "None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way...It seems a little sketchy that IBM can use these pictures without saying anything to anybody," Greg Peverill-Conti, an executive at public relations firm SharpOrange whose photos were used, told NBC News Tuesday.


Exclusive: Flickr bought by SmugMug, which vows to revitalize the photo service

USATODAY

These are the best underwater photos in the world... Buzz60 A logo for Flickr website, then owned by Yahoo, in 2013. In 2018, Smugmug said it had bought the photo sharing website for an undisclosed sum. SAN FRANCISCO -- Flickr has been snapped up by Silicon Valley photo-sharing and storage company SmugMug, USA TODAY has learned. SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill told USA TODAY he's committed to breathing new life into the faded social networking pioneer, which hosted photos and lively interactions long before it became trendy. SmugMug, an independent, family-run company, will maintain Flickr as a standalone community of amateur and professional photographers and give the long neglected service the focus and resources it deserves, MacAskill said in an exclusive interview.


Flickr adds unlimited storage for pros, lowers free usage

USATODAY

Flickr users, get ready for a change – especially if you've been using it as a virtual shoebox for all of your photos and video. The photo site, which Yahoo left dormant for years and rival SmugMug snapped up in the summer, will cut back on how many images users can upload for free, instead offering unlimited storage for $50 a year. Flickr had offered up to 1 terabyte of storage for photos in 2013, in a bid to draw new users. In talking to the existing Flickr community, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill said that since users of SmugMug's premium service had been passionate about unlimited storage for photos, he thought that model would work well on Flickr as well. "We hope they'll think this is awesome," he said.


IBM's Facial Recognition Database: Dangers of Hyperbole

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I'm recovering from the hyperventilating hyperbole in the reportage of IBM's labeling of a dataset of facial photographs and making it available to researchers to reduce bias in facial recognition. NBC News went with a headline that read: Facial recognition's'dirty little secret': Millions of online photos scraped without consent. That might merit a "pants on fire" rating if it were in the realm of political reporting. The photos were not "scraped." The NBC story linked to IBM's discussion of its work which, in turn, identified the dataset that it used.