Microsoft Pledges To Stop Using Facial Recognition AI That Can ‘Read Emotions’
By Alexa Heah, 22 Jun 2022
Months after Facebook announced it would be killing its facial recognition tagging technology, Microsoft has come out to quell customers’ fears by saying that it will be phasing out facial-recognition artificial intelligence that’s been said to capably detect emotions.
According to Engadget, apart from being able to tell if you’re sad, happy, or angry, the technology giant’s AI software sparked debates about privacy with its ability to identify characteristics including one’s age, gender, and hair.
Now, as per a blog post from Microsoft, new users of the Microsoft Face programming framework will no longer be able to access those features, while existing customers will only be allowed to tap into the technology till June 30, 2023.
This comes as part of the company’s update to its Responsible AI Standard, an internal memo outlining how it plans to develop and deploy its AI technology, which will require customers to apply for access to facial recognition software in Azure Face API, Computer Vision, and Video Indexer.
“We will retire facial analysis capabilities that purport to infer emotional states and identity attributes such as gender, age, smile, facial hair, hair, and makeup,” the statement said.
“API access to capabilities that predict sensitive attributes also opens up a wide range of ways they can be misused—including subjecting people to stereotyping, discrimination, or unfair denial of services,” it added.
As AI becomes more powerful, it’s important to see big corporations take steps to ensure that customers’ privacy and information are protected, and that the technology isn’t used for nefarious purposes.
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