Facial recognition technology is all around us—it’s at concerts, airports, and apartment buildings. But its use by law enforcement agencies and courtrooms raises particular concerns about privacy, fairness, and bias, according to Jennifer Lynch, the Surveillance Litigation Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Some studies have shown that some of the major facial recognition systems are inaccurate. Amazon’s software misidentified 28 members of Congress and matched them with criminal mugshots. These inaccuracies tend to be far worse for people of color and women.
Meanwhile, companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM also develop and sell “emotion recognition” algorithms, which claim to identify a person’s emotions based on their facial expressions and movements. But experts on facial expression, like Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, warn it’s extremely unlikely these algorithms could detect emotions based on facial expressions and movements alone.
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