Amazon says its contentious facial recognition technology can now detect fear in people's faces. That makes it the eighth emotion it can identify along with happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, calmness and confusion. In addition, Amazon says it has improved Rekognition's age range estimation accuracy, so customers can get narrower age ranges "across most age groups."
As you might have guessed, the latest updates have drawn flak, considering their nature -- they sure make the technology sound like it came straight out of a dystopian novel -- and the fact that Amazon's customers include law enforcement agencies. Facial recognition, after all, is nowhere near perfect and still tends to misidentify women and persons of color. In 2018, ACLU even released a study showing that the technology misidentified 28 US lawmakers.
Are you fucking kidding me?
AWS comes under fire for Rekognition sales to the federal government, who in turn is building concentration camps for children, and AWS's response is to improve "age range estimation" and "fear detection" in the service?
Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?! https://t.co/RiQ850uAFq
— Corey Quinn (@QuinnyPig) August 12, 2019
Civil rights groups called on the tech giant to stop selling Rekognition to law enforcement, but Amazon's investors voted against a proposal to limit the practice. The company also reportedly offered Rekognition to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is perhaps one of the most controversial agencies today.