Rod McCullom at Undark
has a terrific overview of the perpetual "virtual lineup
," where half of all American adults "are enrolled in unregulated facial recognition networks used by state and local law enforcement agencies."
Much of his article centers on research being done
by Georgetown's Center on Privacy & Technology:
Studies of racial bias in face recognition algorithms are few and far between. The research that has been done, however, suggests that these systems do, in fact, show signs of bias. The most prominent study, co-authored by an FBI expert, found that several leading algorithms performed worse on African Americans, women, and young adults than on Caucasians, men, and older people, respectively. In interviews, we were surprised to find that two major face recognition companies did not test their algorithms for racial bias.
The algorithmic bias has been described as “the coded gaze” by Joy Buolamwini, an MIT Media Lab graduate student, in a nod to the literary and sociological term “the white gaze,” which describes seeing the world from the perspective of a white person and assuming, always, that your audience is white.
Buolamwini, a Fulbright Fellow and two-time recipient of NASA’s Astronaut Scholarship, launched the Algorithmic Justice League last year to highlight biases in machine learning. “Why isn’t my face being detected? We have to look at how we give machines sight,” she said in a TED Talk late last year. “Computer vision uses machine-learning techniques to do facial recognition. You create a training set with examples of faces. However, if the training sets aren’t really that diverse, any face that deviates too much from the established norm will be harder to detect.”
Here's her talk on algorithmic bias:
• Facial Recognition Technology Is Both Biased and Understudied (Undark via TED)
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
The Action Lab took a maglev gyroscope and placed it inside a sealed chamber to see what happens to a levitating gyroscope in a vacuum. A lot of people took issue with the experiment’s setup and explanation, but it’s interesting nonetheless. He responded to those concerns: Hi everyone! I see a lot of comments that […]
Shocking footage, taken from a nearby aircraft, shows a jetliner spraying its appalling chemical payload into our skies. Traffic 12 o'clock pic.twitter.com/g5QjlQ5v8z— Airplane Pictures ✈ (@iLove_Aviation) June 19, 2017
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]