Facial recognition and AI, for good.

Updated: Mar 19

There is a lot of excitement about artificial intelligence and its potential to change the way we live. From autonomous driving, to healthcare, to language processing, to fields that haven’t even occurred to us yet: the possibilities are endless. Computers are stepping out of their previous specialisations, tasks that humans are typically bad at, into areas which had previously been considered uniquely human. In time, computers are becoming better than us humans at tasks which require intuition, such as recognising a face or diagnosing illnesses. Our quality of life can be significantly increased as these technologies develop.

However, not all outcomes of improved artificial intelligence are desirable. In the wrong hands, it’s not hard to see how AI could help create a surveillance state that would make London in George Orwell's 1984 look like a bastion of freedom. The amount of data that we generate going about our everyday lives is more than at any other point in history. By tracking our movements, interactions, moods and opinions, predicting our behaviour will become easier and easier. It’s not hard to see that taking the next step, from prediction to manipulation, would be very desirable for a totalitarian regime. This task would simply be too large for a human to even consider attempting. For artificial intelligence, it's a breeze.

At Facecheck, we believe in pursuing AI’s potential in an ethical and responsible way. It is not enough to simply build something exciting and worry about the applications later. At each step of the way we ensure that we have full respect for our users’ privacy, and only use data that is necessary to improve their lives. We work hard to anticipate any unintended consequences of actions and mitigate them where necessary. We are excited about what the future holds, but we are going into it with our eyes open. We believe that it is not enough to only pursue the positive impact that AI can have, but that we must actively avoid the negative.


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