2 min

Microsoft has refused to share its facial recognition technology with the police in California, reports Reuters. Police in the state had asked the company to install facial recognition in police cars and body cameras. The reason for the rejection of the request was his concern for human rights.

Microsoft concluded that the use of facial recognition technology would lead to the unjustified prolongation of the detention of innocent women and minorities, because the artificial intelligence is mainly trained in photographs of white men. In addition, several studies have found that Artificial Intelligence is more likely to have problems in misidentifying women and minorities.

“Every time they put someone by the side of the road, they wanted to run a face scan against a database of suspects,” says Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. He didn’t say exactly which department of investigative authorities was involved. After thinking about the uneven impact, the company concluded that this technology is “not the answer”.

Smith announced the rejection at a conference at Stanford University, where he spoke of “human-centered artificial intelligence”. He said that Microsoft has also refused to install facial recognition in cameras in the capital of a country that is not mentioned, which the non-profit Freedom House has established is not a free country. According to Smith, technology would have suppressed freedom of assembly.


On the other hand, Microsoft has promised to deliver the technology to an American prison. It did so after the company determined that the environment would be limited and that it would improve safety in the undisclosed prison.

Smith has called for more regulation for facial recognition and other use of artificial intelligence. During his speech he warned that companies that collect the most data might win in the race to create the best artificial intelligence, but that that is a race to the bottom.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.