Amazon can tell when you're scared.
In a blog post on Monday, technology giant led by CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the Recognition Facial Program has added a new emotion that it can detect – fear – in addition to happy, sad, angry, surprised, disgusted, calm and confused.
The company also wrote that it has improved the accuracy of gender identification and age range estimation.
The controversial face recognition software, which falls under the auspices of cloud computing division known as Amazon Web Services, has drawn condemnation from activity and digital rights activists, and lawmakers, who oppose Amazon's marketing of Recognition to police departments and government agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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"Amazon is going to get some of the marketing of recess this dangerous and invasive surveillance technology for governments, "Evan Greer, assistant director of Fight for the Future, told Fox News via email. "Face recognition already automates and aggravates police brutality, profiling and discrimination. Now, Amazon is setting us on a path where armed government agents can make decisions for a second based on a false algorithm's cold testimony."
A recent test by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Amazon's face recognition software found it falsely matched with 26 California state legislators, or more than 1 in 5, for images from a set of 25,000 public-arrest photographs. Over half of the false positives were people of color, according to the ACLU.
During a press conference Tuesday announcing the study, California Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat, said the test shows that the software should not be widely used. Things, which are Sino-American, are one of the legislators falsely identified. He sponsors a bill to ban face recognition technology from being used on police body cameras in California.
A similar test by Rekognition in June 2018 found the software incorrectly labeled 28 members of Congress as suspects, 40 percent of whom were people of color.
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Things explained: "Although we can laugh about it as lawmakers, it is no laugh to say if you are a person trying to Get a job, if you are a person trying to get a home, if you are falsely accused of an arrest. "
Amazon has previously said it encourages law firms to use 99 percent confidence assessments for public safety applications of the technology.
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"When using facial recognition to identify people interested in an investigation, law enforcement should use the recommended 99 percent confidence threshold d, and use only these predictions as one element of the investigation (not the only determinant), "the company said in a blog post earlier this year.
However, activists and technology experts have said that in real-world scenarios, 99 percent guidance is not necessarily followed.
"If you are charged with an arrest, what happens?" said Ting at the press conference. “It can affect the ability to get a job, it certainly has an impact on the ability to get housing. There are real people who can have real effects. "