Facial Recognition Needs Regulation, Microsoft President says

In an astounding article calling for the regulation of facial recognition technology, Microsoft President Brad Smith, says,

we don’t believe that the world will be best served by a commercial race to the bottom, with tech companies forced to choose between social responsibility and market success. We believe that the only way to protect against this race to the bottom is to build a floor of responsibility that supports healthy market competition. And a solid floor requires that we ensure that this technology, and the organizations that develop and use it, are governed by the rule of law.

There are tremendous advantages to artificial intelligence applied through facial recognition technology, however the potential for harm can be very great. It’s great to see Microsoft calling for more regulation to discourage and prevent the unethical use of facial recognition technology:

We believe new laws can address this need with a two-pronged approach:

  • Requiring transparency.Legislation should require tech companies that offer facial recognition services to provide documentation that explains the capabilities and limitations of the technology in terms that customers and consumers can understand.
  • Enabling third-party testing and comparisons.New laws should also require that providers of commercial facial recognition services enable third parties engaged in independent testing to conduct and publish reasonable tests of their facial recognition services for accuracy and unfair bias. A sensible approach is to require tech companies that make their facial recognition services accessible using the internet also make available an application programming interface or other technical capability suitable for this purpose.
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