The Role of Facial Recognition

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With nations such as China introducing social credit systems to the world, the role technology plays in society continues to evolve. Citizens in that nation are unable to perform simple societal functions if scores are below acceptable limits. Those participating in the trial are often embarrassed as scores are not accessible. In western countries, many citizens fear this type of control may be heading here as well. Popular smartphone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung have equipped the majority of consumers with facial recognition technology. Many users unlock devices with these features, and social networks have begun utilizing this technology also. As time progresses, companies across the world will find innovative applications for this technology.

Body Cams and Facial Recognition

Recently, the state of California brought forth bills which may outlaw the use of facial recognition technology used in conjunction with police body cameras. In the land of successful film producers such as David Guillod, the spotlight is undoubtedly on how this case develops. Those opposing these bills believe facial recognition technology in law enforcement will create a safer society. On the other hand, those in support of these bills believe this would provide police with another tool that could result in potential abuse of minorities. With the majority of adults having access to facial recognition devices, one must wonder if the government already logs this data. If so, the citizens of this nation should begin to analyze how law enforcement could change as a result of technological advancements.

Gender Swap and Facial Recognition

Over the past few weeks, social media users have gone into a frenzy over Snapchat’s gender swap filter. As something that initially appeared as a mere novelty, many individuals have marvelled as to how well this filter works. Online users have been able to reimagine themselves as the other gender, and these filters have brought older users back to the platform. Celebrities in a wide variety of industries found use-cases for these filters and amused millions of followers in the process. While this could end up being another fad, these filters demonstrate how far along facial recognition technology has advanced over a short period.

Facial Recognition and Ethnic Bias

The underlying ethnic and racial biases that exist in society have an impact on how technology comes to pass. In terms of facial recognition, many institutions have determined that this technology works better on white males who have light skin. On the contrary, facial recognition software is not very useful for women of color. The bias that finds itself in this technology stems from how facial recognition software comes to pass. If testers only work on a specific demographic, it is likely that biases will occur. However, technology companies are working toward implementing more diversity in these studies. Many technology influencers are aware of the bias that exists in technology and are looking to make sure the future is unbiased. With the possibility of facial recognition use-cases in law enforcement, people of color cannot afford to be subjected against in this area as well.

 

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