Thursday, January 5, 2023

AI Gets It Wrong Again

The lead paragraph from the Gizmodo story pretty well captures the awful stupidity:

Randall Reid says he’s never even been to Louisiana, much less stolen $10,000 worth of Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags there. That didn’t stop police from arresting the 28-year-old Georgia resident for the theft, committed in a New Orleans suburb, based on an algorithmic guess at what his face looked like. Reid was on the way to a belated Thanksgiving dinner with his mother when the cops picked him up, three states and seven hours away from the scene of the crime. He was locked up for nearly a week.

Facial recognition algorithms have a spotty record, except when it comes to Black faces, in which case they have a terrible record. 

This needs to be brought up repeatedly because A) people need to stop talking about "AI" as if it is magical and smart when it is neither and B) there are still folks who think that facial recognition algorithms would be a great way to make schools more secure. This nightmarish idea will have legs as long as tech security companies can smell money. In fact, it can get even worse when districts consider putting cameras in every classroom

From putting cameras in every classroom, or just all over the building, it will be a short step to, "Hey, as long as we've got these images anyway, why not throw in some cool AI to help us track and track down certain people." We need constant reminders of stories like the story of Randall Reid. When people turn off their brains and turn on algorithms, bad things happen, and it would be a massive tragedy if those things happened to the most vulnerable members of our society. 

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