In an effort to gain time to figure out how to eliminate certain obstacles to the use of facial recognition in public places, the European Union proposed banning the use of such technology for a period of five years. While Alphabet- and Google-CEO Sundar Pichai agreed, Microsoft only sees reasons to introduce the technology as soon as possible.

Pichai recently believed in Brussels that while he would rather see the implementation of the technology today than tomorrow, he also believes that it is up to governments to draw up a plan on how and when it will be rolled out. On the other hand, Brad Smith of Microsoft sees little reason not to do it right away.

“I’m reluctant to argue that technology that allows families to be reunited should not be used. Also, you shouldn’t ban something if you think there’s an alternative that’s a lot more sophisticated; that tackles this problem in a much better way.”

Trial-and-error approach preferred by Microsoft

Where the European Union prefers to avoid problems, Microsoft believes that a different approach would work better: roll out and fight the problems that then come to light.

Google warned to not lump everything together. According to Pichai, the use of AI should be looked at on a sector-by-sector basis, in order to be able to determine precisely what involves a lot of risk, and what should therefore be regulated more strictly.