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IBM stops selling ‘general purpose’ facial recognition software in response to Black Lives Matter

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In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and to combat racism, IBM has stopped offering "general purpose facial recognition and analysis software", IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter sent to the US Congress on June 8. "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," Krishna wrote. The letter was addressed to sponsors and co-sponsors of police reform bill that the Democrats proposed on June 8. IBM also wants to start a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be used by American law enforcement agencies. It also said that all Artificial Intelligence, especially when used in law enforcement, must be tested for bias and thus such bias must be audited and reported. It also said that technology, such as body cameras and modern data analytics techniques, should be used to bring greater transparency to policing. CNBC first reported this development. In January 2019, IBM had announced that it was sharing a collection of 1 million publicly available faces to “study the fairness and accuracy in facial recognition technology”. It said the data set was “available the global research community upon request”. "We believe by extracting and releasing these facial coding scheme annotations on a large dataset of 1 million images of faces, we will accelerate the study…

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