Face Recognition CEO Warns of Police Abuse

first_img Facial recognition, especially when combined with machine learning, has been one of the creepier developments in modern tech. And there’s no wonder why. Being able to simply walking around in society without machines tracking you and knowing immediately who you are is a right not too many of us thought about losing. But, now that law enforcement agencies are using them at the US-Mexico border, throughout airports, and in police departments, the backlash is building. It’s bad enough that Brian Brackeen, CEO of AI facial recognition startup Kairos, has penned an op-ed in TechCrunch warning against potential police abuse of the tech. The topic came up when bodycam manufacturer Axon wanted to partner with Kairos to explore the deployment of AI-powered facial recognition in police cams. But Brackeen declined, noting that “using commercial facial recognition in law enforcement is irresponsible and dangerous.One of the biggest problems is that facial recognition software is consistently far less accurate for those with darker skin. An issue Brackeen himself notes. “As the Black chief executive of a software company developing facial recognition services, I have a personal connection to the technology both culturally, and socially,” he said. “The problem is, existing software has not been exposed to enough images of people of color to be confidently relied upon to identify them. And misidentification could lead to wrongful conviction, or far worse.”For the time being, the technology just isn’t reliable enough to bet people’s lives or freedom on it. And, even if it was, law enforcement and government agencies don’t have a rosy history of respecting or even acknowledging the rights of others. “Any company in this space that willingly hands this software over to a government, be it America or another nation’s, is willfully endangering people’s lives,” Brackeen adds. “We need movement from the top of every single company in this space to put a stop to these kinds of sales.”For me, a good chunk of the fear also comes from the idea of machines and cameras everywhere, constantly monitoring my whereabouts. I don’t do anything shady, but I want to walk around without being observed and known about every second. It’s bad enough that Google started asking me (based on my GPS location) to start rating businesses I visited, but… oh boy. This is so much worse.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. McDonald’s Plans to Serve AI Voice Technology at Drive ThruCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS Stay on targetlast_img read more

Trying to Get Pregnant Stop Smoking Pot

first_imgStay on target The Best Food Apps for a Festive 4/20Classes to Start at New School Dedicated to Studying Cannabis What do tobacco smoke, pesticides, flame retardants, obesity, and marijuana have in common?The ability to alter the DNA of men’s sperm.As legal access to cannabis expands across North America, more scientists are turning their attention to the drug’s active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).New research from Duke Health suggests men in their childbearing years (aged up to about 45) should think twice before lighting up while trying to conceive.Experiments in rats and a study with 24 men found that THC targets genes in two major cellular pathways, and alters DNA methylation, a process essential to normal development.Whether genetic changes can be reversed or may be passed on to children remains unknown.“What we have found is that the effects of cannabis use on males and their reproductive health are not completely null, in that there’s something about cannabis use that affects the genetic profile in sperm,” senior study author Scott Kollins, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, said in a statement.“We don’t yet know what that means,” he continued. “But the fact that more and more young males of childbearing age have legal access to cannabis is something we should be thinking about.”Canada in October became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana use.Colorado and Washington, meanwhile, were first in the US to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis in 2012; their policies have led to an increase in weed tourism—i.e. people travel there for the express purpose of obtaining or using drugs.For its study, Duke recruited a sample of “regular users,” defined as those who smoked marijuana at least weekly for the previous six months. Their sperm were compared to a selection of men who did not use the drug in the last six months, and not more than 10 times in their life.The higher the concentration of THC in the men’s urine, the more pronounced the genetic changes to their sperm were, according to the results, published online this week in the journal Epigenetics.“We know that there are effects of cannabis use on the regulatory mechanisms in sperm DNA, but we don’t know whether they can be transmitted to the next generation,” lead author Susan Murphy, associate professor and chief of the Division of Reproductive Sciences in obstetrics and gynecology at Duke, said. “We don’t know whether they are going to be permanent.“I would say, as a precaution, stop using cannabis for at least six months before trying to conceive,” she added.More on Geek.com:You’ll Have to Travel to Canada for Weed BeerCan a Spritz of DNA Solve Colorado’s Weed Problem?This App Tells You How (Legally) Stoned You Arelast_img read more