The ACLU showed that Amazon's facial recognition system thinks members of Congress are felons, so now Congress is taking action

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/27/algorithmic-racism.html

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#2

I see Amazon combined their facial recognition software with their pre-crime prediction AI. Good job!

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#3

They probably are all criminals, just haven’t been apprehended yet.

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#4

Eheh, heh, heheheheheheheheheheh.
We all know how honest politicians are!
Maybe it’s just judging them by their actions? :wink:

But gee, how interesting that they suddenly care now about false positives in facial recognition tech?

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#5

But that is how it generally works for MOST people, no? They don’t really understand or comprehend the impact of something until it actually effects them personally.

I know a public official should be held to a higher standard because part of their job is to in fact think of how policy and such effects people in a broader scope…but they are still humans and subject to the same failings unfortunately.

I’m happy they have had the light bulb turned on and they are looking into it more closely. Fingers crossed it leads somewhere positive.

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#6

I always liked Amazon. :thinking:

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#7

Just think what would happen if Congresspeople were forced to use the same health insurance system their constituents do.

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#8

Or if they had to try to live off of minimum wage, like many of their constituents do…

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#9

Is this just Baye’s Theorem? The large majority of people aren’t criminals. A test with even a high success rate (multiple 9s) still may not be strong evidence of a match: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes’_theorem#Drug_testing

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#10

I love both these ideas. Just for 3 months…live on min wage and normal benefits. Then maybe it would light a fire under them.

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#11

Nope; they’d need to do it for at least 6 months, maybe an entire year.

Too many people just don’t care until something affects them personally, and our so-called leaders are the very epitome of that apathetic attitude.

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#12

Of course, a brief or even medium-long stint doesn’t remove your accumulated financial, social and cultural capital, so the simulation is doomed to be incomplete without some 80s movie life-swap magic.

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#13

Even better. Also add in that they have to live for 6 months as a retiree on medicare and social security with no 401k or Pension funds available whatsoever.

Let them understand what retirement looks like for the majority of America.

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#14

Ah. Here’s the real trick. It could be six months, could be two years, could be anything in between. And each individual member has no idea how long their stint will be.

Just to better simulate the conditions real welfare recipients have to deal with, mentally, too.

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#15

Brilliant.

Freeze all their accumulated assets and capital during that indeterminate period, too.

Let them truly ‘feel our pain.’

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#16

My default position is that Congress would be perfectly happy if facial recognition wasn’t used on politicians. They’d be fine for it to be used by police officers pulling over people with the ‘wrong’ skin colour.

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#17

Back in '81 Chicago mayor Jane Byrne gave it a try and moved into the infamous Caprini Green housing project. Lasted 3 weeks but her apartment was fortified with body guards and back doors welded shut. Many people called it a stunt but, hey, a ‘B’ for effort? This ‘stunt’ was even an inspiration for an episode of Hill Street Blues.

Afterwards, Caprini spiraled down into apocalyptic violence and was eventually torn down. I always thought Byrne was a decent mayor. Don’t know why she gets a bad rap sometimes.

Welcoming The Mayor To Hell | The Story Of Jane Byrne And Cabrini Green

(ETA the correct date. It was 1981)

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#18

It gets messy when you try to add precarity to their friends and loved ones’ lives, while leaving them powerless to help them. Another familiar and devastating effect of poverty. But hey, shit’s messy.

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#19

They’ve also requested an immediate meeting with Jeff Bezos to discuss the topic in depth.

I’m glad that the ACLU is pushing on biometrics, but I can imagine this conversation going like:

Bezos: I’m very sorry that Rekognition isn’t accurate enough yet.

Congress: Yeah, I mean we love the idea but it shouldn’t make so many mistakes!

Bezos: Totally, we’re working very hard to make our AI even more intelligent so that it doesn’t think you guys are criminals. It will only identify real criminals. Soon it will be just like Minority Report

Congress: Sweet, let’s catch some terrorists.

Criticizing surveillance tech on the basis that it isn’t effective enough yet is a dangerous line of reasoning to set up.

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#20

Amazon’s facial recognition system thinks members of Congress are felons

And the problem with that is…?

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