If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
From public CCTV cameras to biometric identification systems in airports, facial recognition technology is now common in a growing number of places around the world. In its most benign form, facial recognition technology is a convenient way to unlock your smartphone. At the state level though, facial recognition is a key component of mass surveillance, and it already touches half the global population on a regular basis. Today's visualizations from SurfShark classify 194 countries and regions based on the extent of surveillance. Click here to explore the full research methodology.
Facial recognition technology has dominated discussions in technology circles for some time now. Faced with increased surveillance in public spaces, it has become imperative for stakeholders to have some input on future deployments of these novel technologies. More importantly, the general public should have some degree of understanding of facial recognition and how it's being used today. Facial recognition is a term used to refer to technologies used to analyze and recognize faces from video recordings and still images. Advancements in image processing and AI have enabled today's computer to read even the subtlest details in the human face like eyelashes to differentiate people.
The long-simmering debate over facial recognition technology is taking on new urgency during the pandemic, as companies rush to pitch face-scanning systems to track the movements of Covid-19 patients. That's playing out in California, where state legislators on Tuesday will debate legislation that would regulate the use of the technology. Its most controversial element: It would permit companies and public agencies to feed people's facial data into a recognition system without their consent if there is probable cause to believe they've engaged in criminal activity. The bill isn't specifically meant for the coronavirus response, but if enacted, could shape the way that people with Covid-19 and their contacts are tracked and traced in the coming months. The legislation has won the support of Microsoft, but it has garnered opposition from more than 40 civil rights and privacy groups and from 18 public health scholars.
While artificial intelligence (AI) powered technologies are now commonly appearing in many digital services we interact with on a daily basis, an often neglected truth is that few companies are actually building the underlying AI technology. A good example of this is facial recognition technology, which is exceptionally complex to build and requires millions upon millions of facial images to train the machine learning models. Consider all of the facial recognition based authentication and verification components of all the different services you use. Each service did not reinvent the wheel when making facial recognition available in their service; instead, they integrated with an AI technology provider. An obvious case of this is iOS services that have integrated FaceID, for example, to quickly log into your bank account.
The state of Washington has made it legal for law enforcement and other state agencies to use facial recognition. The new law makes Washington the first state in the US to legalize facial recognition software for government business. Facial recognition has been used by a number of law enforcement agencies at the city and county level, but it has never been formally legalized at either the state or federal level. Washington has become the first state in the US to officially legalize facial recognition software for law enforcement, which it says will be limited to finding missing persons, identifying the deceased, and'for the purposes of keeping the public safe' According to the law, facial recognition will be limited to a handful of uses, including efforts to'locate or identify missing persons, and identify deceased persons, including missing or murdered indigenous women, subjects of Amber alerts and silver alerts, and other possible crime victims, for the purposes of keeping the public safe.' Agencies that want to use facial recognition technology will have to file a notice of intent with the state government along with an accountability report that details how and why they need the technology, according to a report in InfoSecurity.
Facial recognition is arguably the most talked-about technology within the artificial intelligence landscape due to its wide range of applications and biased outputs. Several countries are adopting this technology for surveillance purposes, most notably China and India. Both are among the first countries to make use of this technology on a large scale. Even the EU has pulled back from banning this technology for some years and has left it for the countries to decide. This will increase the demand for professionals who can develop solutions around facial recognition technology to simplify life and make operations efficient.
The European Commission is being urged to publish reports on the trials of an Artificial Intelligence lie detector technology, iBorderCTRL, which has been bankrolled by the EU's long-term research and development funding mechanism, Horizon 2020. Green MEP Patrick Breyer, who is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Commission's Research Agency for its refusal to disclose ethical assessments of the iBorderCTRL system, said on Tuesday (31 March) that the executive is also refusing to publish information on trials that have been conducted for the technology. The iBorderCTRL system has been tested on various frontiers throughout the EU and uses advanced artificial intelligence technologies to analyse micro-expressions. One of its uses is to detect whether a user is lying or not, when presented with a series of questions, in what has been termed'deception detection.' As part of the trials of the technology, MEP Breyer had sought out information on this component of iBorderCTRL and the proportion of'false positives' that had been identified by the system, following an investigation by The Intercept, which found that the technology made several errors, incorrectly identifying four out of sixteen honest answers as false.
Microsoft is pulling out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer as part of a broader policy shift to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups, the company announced late last week. The decision to withdraw its investment from AnyVision, an Israeli company developing facial recognition software, came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision's technology was being used by the Israeli government to surveil residents in the West Bank. The investigation, conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at Covington & Burling, confirmed that AnyVision's technology was used to monitor border crossings between the West Bank and Israel, but did not "power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank." Microsoft's venture capital arm, M12 Ventures, backed AnyVision as part of the company's $74 million financing round which closed in June 2019. Investors who continue to back the company include DFJ Growth and OG Technology Partners, LightSpeed Venture Partners, Robert Bosch GmbH, Qualcomm Ventures, and Eldridge Industries.
The benefits of facial recognition technology and its cons are controversial issues. Many stakeholders are pointing out the pros, but there are also detractors voicing its disadvantages. There are many concerns around face recognition technology, such as invasion of privacy, abuse of power, what rogue elements within government agencies could do with it, and more. Already, the heated debate around facial recognition has caused some public relations backlashes. As a result, investors could stay clear of the technology, inhibiting its development.
We live in an age where we have unprecedented access to almost any information we need. With the emergence of new technology like artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition, big data and more, the human experience is being changed forever. Almost anything you need is just a tap away; but this access comes at a price--data for data. A simple online search may seem harmless, but before you know it, you're being bombarded with ads offering you exactly what you were looking for. How exactly does this work?