IBM to exit facial recognition business, opposes use of AI technology for mass surveillance

In a letter to members of Congress, IBM says it will abandon the general-purpose facial recognition business, and that the company opposes the use of facial recognition for mass surveillance.

In the letter, IBM's CEO says the company will no longer sell facial recognition services, and calls for a "national dialogue" on whether facial recognition should be used at all, citing concerns about "mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms."


"IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software," CEO Arvind Krishna said in the letter. "IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any 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."

"Your turn, Amazon," said Fabio Chiusi on Twitter.

There's a lot more impact in this than a black square or a brandwashing tweet about Black Lives mattering.

Then again, IBM was already responsible for human rights atrocities in a previous generation: they aided and assisted and provided technology for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime, and made the process of killing Jewish people and others in concentration camps more effective and efficient.

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IBM is exiting the face recognition business [Ina Fried / Axios, via]