Reality 2.0 Newsletter - February 19, 2020: Facial Recognition Powered By YOU

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Episode 57: You Look Familiar, Did I See You on the Internet?

Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk facial recognition AI using our photos for training, and how we collectively negotiate our own privacy online.

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"consider going back in time to the moment you took these photos... I would have never considered that this was something that I needed to worry about at that time. You know... we posted these things in good faith from a place of positivity, and all of these years later it feels so icky."

In previous episodes, we have talked at length about the ethics of facial recognition technology, but last week’s episode addresses a slightly different angle. When it is our own photos fueling the AI that powers facial recognition datasets, we felt much closer to the ethical dilemma. Most of us leave traces of our lives around the internet, but when you include images of others in your online record, what is your responsibility to protect your photos’ subjects?

If you have used photo hosting platforms like Flickr, or even Facebook, for a while, you have probably shared photos of other people for much longer than facial recognition technology has been so frequently in the news. With that in mind, how do we change our habits to fit within our own ethical framework and respect the wishes of our acquaintances?

We hope you’ll listen to the episode and send us our thoughts here in a comment, or on any of our social outlets, or via our contact form.

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