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Intel launches facial recognition solution amid debate around the tech’s biases

Credit: Intel blog

The chipmaker Intel has now launched a facial recognition solution, which the company says will work with smart locks, access control, point-of-sale devices, ATMs and kiosks, among others. Called RealSense ID, the solution is built on Intel’s depth-sensing technology, a dedicated system-on-a-chip, with an embedded secure element to encrypt and process user data "quickly and safely". While Intel listed out all possible use cases of the facial recognition solutions, it did not specify if it would be offering this technology to law enforcement agencies, though it did say that it was “working to ensure the ethical application of RealSense and the protection of human rights”. The tech, Intel said, processes all facial images locally and encrypts all user data. The solution is also only activated through user awareness and will not authenticate unless prompted by a pre-registered user. “In industries such as finance, healthcare and smart access control, companies need technology they can trust,” Intel said in a blog post. “Intel RealSense ID has built-in anti-spoofing technology to protect against false entry attempts using photographs, videos or masks, and provides a one-in-1-million false acceptance rate”. That accuracy claim appears too high, and it remains to be seen whether the system will exhibit such accuracy rates in real world scenarios.  Intel’s facial recognition tool comes amid debates about the technology's biases and potential for harm, particularly against minorities and people of colour. Amazon’s facial recognition tool Rekognition, for instance, misidentified 28 members of Congress as criminals. Research, in general, has shown that…

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