IBM abandons its facial recognition projects after controversy over its use and biases that the technology uses. IBM has announced that it will stop developing and selling facial recognition software. After all the problems detected in the technology, the utility that given. And the current context, IBM decided to abandon all the projects. But also to make a call to reconsider how it is used.
The news jumped after the letter that Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM, sent to five congress members. After becoming one of the leading companies selling facial recognition software to the Government of the United States, who made this decision. There have been several alleged causes. IBM does not want its technology to serve “mass surveillance, racial profiling, human rights violations. And basic freedoms,” aspects where it is not used in line with its “values and principles of trust and transparency.”
But it is a debate that seems complicated at the moment. One cannot help but think that this abandonment occurs when protests continue in the United States due to the racist violence suffered. And the software of IBM and other companies was probably used to identify the protesters. But to this should be added the racist biases that are endemic in facial recognition.
This technology has always been involved in significant controversy, both in its public and private use. And in the way to train it to be more reliable in detecting people or crossing information with other data. Such as prosecutors and what any company can know in a matter of seconds. When reading the letter sent, two approaches can extract. The first is the desire for IBM not to contribute to the use that the Trump Government may make of its software. The other is that the door is not closed completely. It is a call to rethink its purpose and establish ideological and technological bases. That can bring IBM back to its facial recognition projects.