Face Recognition Essay Example
Recently, we have seen a spike in technological advances, such as the smartphone used by millions every day, that continue popularizing the idea of artificial intelligence. The rapid growth of these systems can be found in our everyday lives, from snapchat filters to the simplest cameras found in your neighborhood’s grocery store. Facial recognition, a type of AI, is a system that works by capturing images of a face from up close or a distance. This kind of system can use images to identify an individual or even store the images for later purposes. The article, “Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues” by Diana Budds, discusses some of the issues that arise with facial recognition. Budds goes on to describe the growth of mass surveillance in public spaces and how it goes hand in hand with the growth of these AI systems. Facial recognition is a powerful tool that should cease to exist as it can be used without an individual’s knowledge or consent. Not only is it an infringement, but it is also highly inaccurate that only exists to disturb people.
One of the biggest concerns of facial recognition systems is that it violates the right of privacy and denies the opportunity for consent. Facial recognition systems are mostly found in public spaces where they are sure to be used. They are all around us in secrecy and without us even knowing they are capturing small pieces of our lives. “The facial recognition software technology companies are developing can identify a person in a crowd in real time, track someone’s movements, detect emotions, and predict behavior.” (Budds 9) This is an invasion of privacy. Privacy is important even in public spaces where people come together and engage with the community. Our right to privacy protects individuals to express their identity freely without the worry of any intrusion from state or private companies. Facial recognition technology that records, analyzes and stores our images undermines this right because it doesn’t allow us to freely express ourselves without having to worry about the people who come across these images. It also denies the opportunity for us to consent. There is a lack of detail of how these systems are used and how the information captured is actually used. Not once has any facial recognition company given the public the chance to sign or give consent to allow for the recording of their information. This means that we are denied the choice and control of our own personal information. Facial recognition disrupts the daily lives of people without them knowing.
Facial recognitions are often inaccurate and as a result leads to biases. This technology promises accurate identification, but research has shown that this is not the fact. “ Amazon’s face-recognition software—which analyzes facial attributes like gender and emotions—wrongly identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been charged with a crime.” (Budds 10) The biases that result out of facial recognition systems are at large numbers against people of color. This is wrong because it leads public and private agencies to discriminate against people from minority groups. If people believe that such devices can be infallible then that can also lead to bad decisions because they will start to associate specific people of color/race with specific actions. Machine-generated outcomes should not determine how we treat individuals. “This isn’t much different than the stereotyping and profiling that happens today, which disproportionately affects people of color.” (Budds 12) Biased facial recognition technology is particularly problematic in law enforcement. With the recent protests against law enforcement and their mistreatment towards African-Americans many come to wonder why they specifically target people of color. Perhaps the use of facial recognition? Errors could lead to false accusations and arrests. When you add facial recognition bias and personal bias together it may answer the question as to why people of color are targeted at a larger scale.
When used correctly, facial recognition can be beneficial to society. The use of such technology can be helpful to find missing people and protect businesses against theft. “Then, an algorithm—designed by human programmers and data scientists—processes those images and uses machine learning to analyze them by cross referencing the image to other data sources.” (Budds 8) In cases of missing people, law enforcement agencies use facial recognition to find people that are missing by cross referencing their images with different cameras in areas all over the world to identify if the missing person has been spotted in one of them. Even if that person is still missing years later, there is software that would show how these individuals look years later and as a result facial recognition can help in finding that person. In cases against theft, facial recognition systems along with actual security camera footage work together to help identify people who have been caught stealing or those who are suspected of shoplifting. This security measure can prevent shoplifting as people are less likely to commit a crime if they know they are being watched. These two measures- help find missing people and protect businesses against theft- are the only times facial recognition should be allowed. Although it would be used for a good cause, the chances of facial recognition being inaccurate are really high. Once you think you have found the right person, you’ll come to realize that it is not them.
We must come together and work towards eliminating facial recognition. It is used to record and analyze us without our permission. Some individuals fail to realize that these systems are all around them much less realize that they have not given consent. It does nothing positive for us even though manufacturing companies promise that they work. They are highly inaccurate that in the end only hurt the most vulnerable in our communities.