IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology, IBM tells The Verge. Krishna addressed the letter to Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”
IBM abandons ‘biased’ facial recognition tech
Tech giant IBM is to stop offering facial recognition software for “mass surveillance or racial profiling”.
The announcement comes as the US faces calls for police reform following the killing of a black man, George Floyd.
In a letter to the US Congress, IBM said AI systems used in law enforcement needed testing “for bias”.
Amazon Pauses Police Use of Its Facial Recognition Software
Amazon said on Wednesday that it was putting a one-year pause on letting the police use its facial recognition tool, in a major sign of the growing concerns that the technology may lead to unfair treatment of African-Americans.
The technology giant did not explain its reasoning in its brief blog post about the change, but the move came amid the nationwide protests over racism and biased policing. Amazon’s technology had been criticized in the past for misidentifying people of color.