A lot of technology was probably developed with the best intentions, but at the same time have also shown that it can also be abused. Facial recognition is such a technology, and in a recent report by The New York Times, it seems that one of the pioneers of facial recognition technology has expressed his fear of the consequences of his work.
Dr. Joseph J. Atick was one of the pioneers of modern face recognition technology, having helped to advance the technology back in the 1990s. He then took the technology and promoted it to governments where he suggested it could be used to identify criminals and prevent identity fraud.
However fast forward to today, Dr. Atick, who is now an industry consultant, has expressed his fears that through the technology he helped pioneered, could be abused, such as through mass surveillance which would be “basically robbing everyone of their anonymity.” He adds, “I think that the industry has to own up. If we do not step up to the plate and accept responsibility, there could be unexpected apps and consequences.”
His sentiments are shared by Senator Al Franken who had expressed concern over a Google Glass app that could identify people just by looking at them. Google has since said that they will not be allowing facial recognition apps on Google Glass. According to Dr. Atick, “Some people believe that I am maybe inhibiting the industry from growing. I disagree. I am helping industry make difficult choices, but the right choices.” What do you guys think? Do you agree with Dr. Atick’s sentiments?