Social media giant Facebook on 2 November announced that it was shutting down its facial recognition system. Facebook’s vice-president of its artificial intelligence Jerome Pesenti made the announcement.
As per the statement by Pesenti, people would no longer be automatically recognised in pictures and videos.
“We’re shutting down the face recognition system on Facebook. People who’ve opted in will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos and we will delete more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates,” read the statement.
This Facebook move will affect Automatic Alt Text (AAT), which creates image descriptions for blind and visually-impaired people. Following this change, AAT descriptions will no longer include the names of people recognised in photos but will function normally otherwise.
While Facebook stresses the positive aspects of the facial recognition system, it put forward the negative facets and potential dangers of the technology.
“…But the many specific instances where facial recognition can be helpful need to be weighed against growing concerns about the use of this technology as a whole. There are many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society, and regulators are still in the process of providing a clear set of rules governing its use. Amid this ongoing uncertainty, we believe that limiting the use of facial recognition to a narrow set of use cases is appropriate…” read the statement from Facebook.
The statement said, “This includes services that help people gain access to a locked account, verify their identity in financial products or unlock a personal device. These are places where facial recognition is both broadly valuable to people and socially acceptable, when deployed with care. While we will continue working on use cases like these, we will ensure people have transparency and control over whether they are automatically recognized.”