Microsoft Corp rejected requests to install facial recognition technology due to human rights concerns

epa01123237 epa01123229 General Counsel of Microsoft Brad Smith gives a press conference to discuss the European Court of First Instance's judgement, 17 September 2007 in Brussels. The US software giant lost the case at Europe's second-highest court, which upheld a record 497 million Euro fine imposed by the European Commission in 2004, finded that Microsoft abused its dominant position. EPA/ERIC VIDAL BELGIUM OUT

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Microsoft President Brad Smith revealed that Microsoft Corp recently rejected a California law enforcement agency’s request to install facial recognition technology in officers’ cars and body cameras due to human rights concern.

Microsoft concluded it would lead to innocent women and minorities being disproportionately held for questioning because the artificial intelligence has been trained on mostly white and male pictures.

Speaking at a Stanford University conference on “human-centered artificial intelligence,” Smith said Microsoft had also declined a deal to install facial recognition on cameras blanketing the capital city of an unnamed country that the nonprofit Freedom House had deemed not free. Smith said it would have suppressed freedom of assembly there.

On the other hand, Microsoft did agree to provide the technology to an American prison, after the company concluded that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety inside the unnamed institution.

Smith explained the decisions as part of a commitment to human rights that he said was increasingly critical as rapid technological advances empower governments to conduct blanket surveillance, deploy autonomous weapons and take other steps that might prove impossible to reverse.

AI has more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, multiple research projects have found.

Via Voice of America/Reuters

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