Amazon is a major federal contractor. AWS powers ICE raids and detention camps.
Amazon's Rekognition facial recognition software can now detect human fear, among other emotions, the company that works with ICE under Donald Trump announced today.
That's not terrifying news at all.
“We have added a new emotion, ‘fear'”, the company said today, announcing a service update to Rekognition. Amazon says the system now identifies eight emotions, including “angry”, “disgusted”, and “surprised,” which combined, express my feelings about the fact that AWS is a major contractor with the federal government under Donald Trump.
Protesters have rightly targeted the company in recent months for creating the technology that powers immigration raids and indefinite extrajudicial detention of people, including citizens of Latin American descent who are wrongly suspected of being undocumented.
The administration's push against immigrants is manifestly racist, and rooted in kooky white supremacist and nazi ideas about eugenics and race-mixing, thanks Herrs Miller and Bannon.
The public cloud behemoth has also improved accuracy for emotion detection of the other seven emotions it recognises. These are “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, “surprised”, “disgusted”, “calm”, and “confused. It has also improved age range estimation accuracy.
The company said in the short update Monday that triggered the reaction: “Amazon Rekognition provides a comprehensive set of face detection, analysis, and recognition features for image and video analysis. Today, we are launching accuracy and functionality improvements to our face analysis features.
“Face analysis generates metadata about detected faces in the form of gender, age range, emotions, attributes such as ‘Smile’, face pose, face image quality and face landmarks. With this release, we have further improved the accuracy of gender identification. In addition, we have improved accuracy for emotion detection (for all 7 emotions: ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’, ‘Surprised’, ‘Disgusted’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Confused’).
“[We have] added a new emotion: ‘Fear’. Lastly, we have improved age range estimation accuracy; you also get narrower age ranges across most age groups.”
Responses from Twitter follow.
[via Techmeme, SLIDES: AMAZON.COM]