back to article Mysterious face-recog AI startup Clearview sued, capabilities questioned after scraping billions of web pics

Hello, welcome to this week's AI roundup of news that's beyond what we've already covered, and it's mostly all about facial recognition. The most detailed map of a brain cost $40m to build – and it’s of a fruitfly: Scientists have created the most comprehensive map yet of a fruitfly’s biological neural network after splashing …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well he would say that wouldn't he?

    Microsoft president Brad Smith was more lukewarm towards the European Commissions proposal, however.

    “I’m really reluctant to say let’s stop people from using technology in a way that will reunite families when it can help them do it,”

    SLURP President has doubts about banning Facial Recog.... I wonder why? The clue is in the name SLURP.

    I'd ban it totally like some places in the USA have done.

    There is a reason why I won't use ANY SLURP Software or Service if I can avoid it.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Well he would say that wouldn't he?

      Remember that MS is just Slurp Three, after Slurp One (Google) and Slurp Two (Facebook), so they are still playing catch-up - so while Google can see the ban as a way to hinder its competitors, MS see it as a stop to its attempts to catch up.

      Hope you don't use any Google or Facebook service too... I think both have an enormous trove of images on their server they can still use to train their AIs... MS will need to buy some photo site to catch up.

      1. harmjschoonhoven

        Re: Well he would say that wouldn't he?

        MS bought LinkedIn. That is a photo site.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Well he would say that wouldn't he?

      "

      I’m really reluctant to say let’s stop people from using technology in a way that will reunite families when it can help them do it.

      "

      What he fails completely to understand is that there are some people who do not *want* to be "reunited."

      It could, for example, help to reunite a woman with her homocidally abusive ex-husband who without such technology would have no idea where she moved to escape him. Or help organized gang leaders get reunited with the snitch who was given a new identity by the witness protection program.

      Whether or not I want to be easily found should be up to *me*. Not Facebook.

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Well he would say that wouldn't he?

        Interesting points. To make this more relevant to the Met, it could also be used to quickly reunite the violently homicidal criminal just released with the officer and judge that put him in jail. And I don't mean the criminal would be in handcuffs, quite the opposite.

        Technology is curiously impartial to who wields it. It does not make moral or legal judgement on its own use (actually that was the point of one of the better "new" Dr. Who episodes, wasn't it?)

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Well he would say that wouldn't he?

      "Won't someone think of the famiilies"

  2. cbars

    Sloppy

    There are multiple typos and grammatical errors in this piece, usually I would use the corrections email but there are so many that I'm suspicious I've accidentally become a proof reader

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Masks

    Buy them now or be priced out for ever.....

  4. ThatOne Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Did he really said that? With a straight face?

    > "I’m really reluctant to say let’s stop people from using technology in a way that will reunite families"

    That's the most shameless attempt at "think of the children" I've heard in a long time!...

    I'm so sorry about all those poor families now crying in desperation... Nobody had told me that the prime goal of farcical recognition was to "reunite families". I thought it was all about catching criminals and improving marketing databases...

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Did he really said that? With a straight face?

      I thought it was all about catching innocents and labeling them criminals.

      Unless of course you have backed the Correct Political Party, the one that intends to remove any remaining pesky laws stopping Slurp from holding your soul for ransom each minute.

      FTFY.

    2. KBeee
      Facepalm

      Re: Did he really said that? With a straight face?

      "I’m really reluctant to say let’s stop people from using technology in a way that will reunite families"

      Ahhh yes - reuniting (abusive) husband to (hiding) wife

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    “There is only one way at the end of the day to make technology better and that is to use it.”

    It's also the way to make it worse.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Do we want to make them better?

      Hmmm.... nuclear weapons? I'm sure other readers can point out many more.

      (yes, facial recognition as well....)

    2. IGotOut

      IoTs?

      If we had ignored them at the beginning, we wouldn't be dealing with all the crap we have now.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I've read some of the Drosophila paper and I'm staggered by the microscopy technique involved. And yet it leaves me with a fairly basic question: does the structure change between larva and imago? They're going to have to do it all over again to answer that one.

  7. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    The most detailed map of a brain cost $40m to build – and it’s of a fruitfly:

    For God's sake don't tell Sarah Palin that! She'll be on a plane to Paris, Fraaaance quicker than an oil magnate humping Trumps's leg ...

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Andy, did you reply to the wrong thread by any chance ?

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Khaptain, did you forget what you read at the start of the article by the time you got to the end by any chance?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facial recognition is just one piece of the puzzle

    Yes, it's invasive and creepy. Yes, it can discourage people from exercising their rights to assemble freely and protest -- due to fear of reprisal from government or an employer. But it's just one of many, many technologies that have those undesirable traits.

    Phone tracking (directly by GPS, but also MAC addresses from WiFi scans, Bluetooth, etc.), license plate scanners, vehicle trackers from insurance companies (to "get a discount for safe driving"), in-vehicle telematics, IoT devices, cell tower pings, credit card records, electronic toll passes, etc. etc. etc. can all be combined to create a nearly inescapable surveillance network both inside and outside your home.

    In democratic countries, this aggregation is mostly being done by private companies, but it's no secret that governments can tap into it -- with warrants or by other means. China is a live demo of what this looks like in the hands of a non-democratic society, and some of their democratic counterparts like what they see.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Facial recognition is just one piece of the puzzle

      You're correct, but until now there have been ways to limit exposure:

      Phone tracking? I keep my phone off half the time, especially in my private flat, and use a corded phone where I can.

      License plate scanners? Eh, that ship sailed a long time ago when you had to put a unique ID on the front of your car. Any moderately nosy person could just sit by the road and track cars, technology just made that bit easier. Plus it won't work against carpools, having a mate drive you somewhere, letting Wifey use the car, etc., so it's hardly a 1:1 match unless you're the only one that ever drives the car.

      I just say NO to the vehicle trackers. Creepy as hell, I'll pay a bit more for my privacy thank you!

      Telematics? I drive old cars for a reason, new cars are also creepy as hell.

      Cell tower pings? See "phone is OFF" above.

      Credit card? OK, so they know you spent X amount at Y shop, but that's theoretically the extent of it. The real problem is when the shop retains the records of what you bought too.

      Toll passes? Same as license plate trackers, not exactly a 1:1 correspondence, lots of noise in that data.

  9. Il'Geller

    No need to describe the neurons themselves and their connections as such, but A.I. technology catches the manifestation of their inner essence displayed in texts. It assumes that a single neuron (or a group of neurons) is equivalent to a single phrase. That is, the technology does not need to study “humble drosophila”, but immediately deals with humans and their texts.

    1. IGotOut

      The Geller bot has returned

      Still "talking" nonsense though

      Upvoted it, just to up the false positives.

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