10 actions that will protect people from facial recognition software

Darrell West, director and vice president of Governance Studies. 2/2017

Darrell M. West

Vice President and Director – Governance Studies

Founding Director – Center for Technology Innovation

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Editor’s Note:This report from The Brookings Institution’s Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology (AIET) Initiative is part of “AI Governance,” a series that identifies key governance and norm issues related to AI and proposes policy remedies to address the complex challenges associated with emerging technologies.

Facial recognition (FR) software inspires intense reactions from many people. On the one hand, a number of individuals worry that FR will usher in an Orwellian nightmare of mass surveillance and privacy intrusions. They see FR combined with ubiquitous video cameras, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics as a formula for harming humanity and restricting individual freedom.

Yet at the same time, FR has been used to locate missing people, improve the security of schools and airports, help those who are visually impaired, and counter terrorism. It is the ultimate dual-use technology, with a wide range of beneficial and dangerous uses. The very same tools that horrify individuals also can help people and save lives.
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Election for Upstate Judgeship Turns Ugly After Mailers Label Candidate as Socialist, Pro-Drug | New York Law Journal

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A mailer sent to voters in Sullivan County has labeled a Democratic candidate for county court judge as wanting to “bring socialism” to the county and supporting the legalization of drugs–both claims, the candidate says, are false and a breach of ethics.

The claims were then repeated in an additional eight-page mailer, designed to look like a newspaper, that appeared to offer an endorsement for the candidate’s opponent, the Republican candidate.

Those attacks were directed at Cynthia Dolan, a Democrat running to be the next county court judge in Sullivan County. The position opened up this year when Justice Frank LaBuda reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Dolan’s GOP opponent, Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell, has claimed full responsibility for the mailer’s content and said in social media postings that it is justified by what he terms as “spurious” and “false” allegations about his record as the county’s top prosecutor.

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