Reintroduction of facial recognition legislation receives mixed responses

The reintroduction of the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act in the 117th Congress has received mixed responses.

An initial version of the legislation was introduced in 2020 but was reintroduced June 15 2021 by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

“We do not have to forgo privacy and justice for safety,” said Senator Markey. “This legislation is about rooting out systemic racism and stopping invasive technologies from becoming irreversibly embedded...

McDonald’s drive-thru AI bot may have broken privacy law

McDonald’s announced earlier this month that it was deploying an AI chatbot to handle its drive-thru orders, but it turns out it might break privacy law.

The chatbot is the product of a voice recognition company McDonald’s snapped up in 2019 called Apprente which is now known as McD Tech Labs.

McDonald’s deployed the chatbots to ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois. And there lies the issue.

The state of Illinois has some of the strictest data...

Amazon will continue to ban police from using its facial recognition AI

Amazon will extend a ban it enacted last year on the use of its facial recognition for law enforcement purposes.

The web giant’s Rekognition service is one of the most powerful facial recognition tools available. Last year, Amazon signed a one-year moratorium that banned its use by police departments following a string of cases where facial recognition services – from various providers – were found to be inaccurate and/or misused by law enforcement.

Amazon has now...

ACLU joins over 50 groups in calling for Homeland Security to halt use of Clearview AI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined over 50 other rights and advocacy groups in calling for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt the use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system.

In a letter (PDF) addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the signatories wrote: “The undersigned organizations have serious concerns about the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology provided by private company Clearview AI. We...

Google is telling its scientists to give AI a ‘positive’ spin

Google has reportedly been telling its scientists to give AI a “positive” spin in research papers.

Documents obtained by Reuters suggest that, in at least three cases, Google’s researchers were requested to refrain from being critical of AI technology.

A “sensitive topics” review was established by Google earlier this year to catch papers which cast a negative light on AI ahead of their publication.

Google asks its scientists to consult with legal,...

University College London: Deepfakes are the ‘most serious’ AI crime threat

Researchers from University College London have released a ranking of what experts believe to be the most serious AI crime threats.

The researchers first created a list of 20 expected ways AI will be used by criminals within the next 15 years. 31 experts were then asked to rank them by potential severity.

Deepfakes – AI-generated images, videos, and articles – ranked top of the list as the most serious threat.

New and dangerous territory

It’s of little...

Researchers create AI bot to protect the identities of BLM protesters

Researchers from Stanford have created an AI-powered bot to automatically cover up the faces of Black Lives Matter protesters in photos.

Everyone should have the right to protest. And, if done legally, to do so without fear of having things like their future job prospects ruined because they've been snapped at a demonstration – from which a select few may have gone on to do criminal acts such as arson and looting.

With images from the protests being widely shared on...

UK and Australia launch joint probe into Clearview AI’s mass data scraping

The UK and Australia have launched a joint probe into the controversial “data scraping” practices of Clearview AI.

Clearview AI has repeatedly made headlines, and rarely for good reason. The company’s facial recognition technology is impressive but relies on scraping billions of people’s data from across the web.

“Common law has never recognised a right to privacy for your face,” Clearview AI lawyer Tor Ekeland argued recently.

Regulators in the UK...

The ACLU uncovers the first known wrongful arrest due to AI error

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has forced the police to acknowledge a wrongful arrest due to an erroneous algorithm.

While it’s been suspected that documented racial bias with facial recognition algorithms has led to false arrests, it’s been difficult to prove.

On Wednesday, the ACLU lodged a complaint against the Detroit police after black male Robert Williams was arrested on his front lawn “as his wife Melissa looked on and as his daughters wept from...

Amazon uses AI-powered displays to enforce social distancing in warehouses

Amazon has turned to an AI-powered solution to help maintain social distancing in its vast warehouses.

Companies around the world are having to look at new ways of safely continuing business as we adapt to the "new normal" of life with the coronavirus.

Amazon has used its AI expertise to create what it calls the Distance Assistant. Using a time-of-flight sensor, often found in modern smartphones, the AI measures the distance between...