5.27.19 Facial recognition to speed up travel; Why annuities are so bad

Cruise ship companies and airlines are starting to use facial recognition to speed up boarding in an attempt to provide better customer service. There are also privacy concerns; Annuities are bad. Really bad. Almost always.

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Proposal would ban use of facial recognition at apartment buildings

ALBANY — New York lawmakers want to ban facial recognition technology on all rental properties, arguing it infringes on tenant privacy. New legislation would outlaw landlords from being able to “obtain, retain, access or use” the machinery on residential premises. Violators could face up to $ 10,000 in penalties if the bill passes. “New Yorkers have…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post


Speech recognition technology is not a solution for poor readers

Could artificial intelligence be a solution for people who cannot read well (functional illiterates) or those who cannot read at all (complete illiterates)? According to psycholinguists, speech technology should never replace learning how to read. Researchers argue that literacy leads to a better understanding of speech because good readers are good at predicting words.
Literacy News — ScienceDaily


Facial recognition targets GP appointment touts in China

Chinese hospitals are using facial recognition technology as part of a crackdown on people making doctors’ appointments and then selling them for a profit.
Tech News – Latest Technology and Gadget News | Sky News


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Coalition Pressures Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to Keep Facial Recognition Surveillance Away From Government

A coalition of more than 85 activist groups sent letters to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google pressuring them not to sell their facial surveillance technology to the government.

In its letters sent Jan. 15, the coalition–which comprises groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, National Lawyers Guild chapters, and Freedom of the Press Foundation–warned the companies that a decision to supply government with the technology “threatens the safety of community members and will also undermine public trust.” That’s because facial recognition software gives the government the power to target immigrants, religious minorities, and people of color, thereby exacerbating a historical bias, according to the coalition.

“Companies can’t continue to pretend that the ‘break-then-fix’ approach works,” Nicole Ozer, technology and civil liberties director for the ACLU of California, said in a statement. ” … We are at a crossroads with face surveillance, and the choices made by these companies now will determine whether the next generation will have to fear being tracked by the government for attending a protest, going to their place of worship, or simply living their lives.”

The letter adds pressure to technology companies, whose sentiment toward selling the new technologies range from cautious to eager.

Google, at least, appears to be treading lightly. In December, the company committed not to sell its facial recognition surveillance software until the technology’s potential dangers are addressed.

That came a couple of months after several Google employees quit in protest of the company’s $ 10 billion bid for a contract with the Pentagon over cloud data center services. Ultimately, Google withdrew its bid for the project, called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, citing uncertainty that the project aligned with its principles for the use of artificial intelligence. Google bans the use of its AI software in weapons and services that violate international norms for surveillance and human rights.

Similarly, Microsoft employees also pressured executives to pull its bid for the JEDI project. At the time, however, Microsoft said it had no intentions of dropping out.

In a December blog post, Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, acknowledged the risks associated with facial recognition surveillance technology and its obligation to address those concerns internally. He also pushed for government regulation in regards to the use of the technology.

And on the other end of the spectrum, Amazon continues to sell its facial recognition software to government agencies. Last year, CEO Jeff Bezos told CNN that society would eventually take care of any bad uses of the technology.

Earlier this month, the FBI reportedly began piloting Amazon software called Rekognition to help sift through surveillance footage collected during an investigation. Amazon also reportedly met with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to discuss Rekognition.

The ACLU is particularly concerned about Amazon and its technology, as a test it conducted last year showed that Rekognition falsely matched 28 members of Congress with images in a database of people arrested by police, with members of color disproportionately being identified incorrectly.



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