Facial Recognition is getting really accurate, and we have not prepared
There’s reason to believe facial recognition software is getting very accurate. According to a WSJ article by Laura Mills, Facial Recognition Software Advances Trigger Worries, a Russian company called NTechLab has built software that “correctly matches 73% of people to large photo database.” The stat comes from celebrities recognized in a database of a million pictures.
Now comes the creepy part. The company, headed by two 20-something Russian tech dudes, are not worried about the ethics of their algorithms. Here are their reasons:
- Because it’s already too late to worry. In the words of one of the founders, “There is no private life.”
- They don’t need to draw a line in the sand for who they give this technology to, because“we don’t receive requests from strange people.”
- Also, the technology should be welcomed, rather than condemned, because according to the founders, “There is always a conflict between progress and some scared people,” he said. “But in any way, progress wins.”
Thanks for the assurance!
Let’s compare the above reasons to not worry to the below reasons we have to worry, which include:
- The founders are in negotiations to sell their products to state-affiliated security firms from China and Turkey.
- Moscow’s city government is planning to install NTechLab’s technology on security cameras around the city.
- They were already involved in a scandal in which people used their software to identify and harass women who had allegedly acted in pornographic films online in Russia.