Facebook Dropped Facial Recognition to Tag People in Photos

Facebook Tuesday said it will cease to be used facial recognition technology to identify people in photos and videos and delete associated data on more than 1 billion people.

The news marks the end of one of the most recognizable facial recognition systems. Outside of the opening surface for smartphones and applications at airports, FacebookAuto tag is probably the most common form of facial recognition technology that people encounter. In a blog post, Facebook VP of artificial intelligence Jerome Pesenti said the decision reflects a “need to weigh positive use cases for face recognition against growing societal concerns.”

Facebook has used a facial recognition system to automatically find people in photos, videos, and Memories since 2010, garnering criticism from privacy advocates and hundreds of millions- million dollars in fines from government regulators. A Facebook spokesperson told WIRED that billions of photos tagged with the help of face recognition over the past decade have been stored on labels. Notifications and signals obtained from photos and videos with facial recognition part of a person’s social circle may also remain absent.

Facial recognition has come to cover privacy and human rights concerns that have led to more than one dozens of major U.S. cities banning the use in technology. Face recognition applications by law enforcement have led to numerous wrongful arrests in the U.S. and helped create a state of surveillance to control. Muslim minority groups in China.

The decision comes after weeks of intense Facebook scrutiny surrounding the leak thousands of internal documents revealed holes in moderation, and Facebook’s move last week to rebrand itself under the name Meta.

The end of face recognition for photo tags does not mean the complete end of the use of face recognition on Facebook. The technology can still be used to do things like help users access a locked account or verify their identity to complete a transaction. And even if Facebook removes data from more than a billion faces, the company will continue with DeepFace, the AI ​​model trained on that data. About one in three Facebook users now use its service to recommend people to tag a photo.

In addition to removing automatic photo tags, Facebook will no longer use facial recognition to identify people by name for a small percentage of photos for people who are blind or visually impaired. .

Facebook is the latest major tech company to reject the use of facial recognition. IBM stopped offering facial recognition to customers last year. Citing the lack of action by regulators, following the assassination of George Floyd, Amazon and Microsoft stopped their sale of facial recognition services.

Researchers such as Joy Buolamwini, Deb Raji, and Timnit Gebru first documented that facial recognition systems are less accurate in women with dark skin. Those results were later confirmed by a National Institute of Standards and Technology analysis that says technology often misidentifies Asian people, young people, and so on.

Raji, who works on policy and ethical issues for organizations including AI Now, Google, and the Algorithmic Justice League, called the Facebook move important because DeepFace has played an important role in the history of vision. on the computer. The deep learning model was created in 2014 with 4 million images from 4,000 people, the largest data on people’s faces to date. DeepFace is the first AI model to reach the human level of face recognition performance, and it is sparking a trend of commercializing the technology and hoarding face data to improve. the show.

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