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Microsoft Phase out Access to AI Facial Recognition Technology

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Microsoft Corp. confirms its decision of phasing out access to a number of its AI-powered facial recognition tools. This includes a tool that claims to identify a person’s emotion through videos and images.

The company announced its decision of removing the tool on June 21,2022 as it released a 27-page “Responsible AI Standard”. This highlights the goals and objectives of the company about trustworthy and equitable AI. And to meet its objectives, the company has decided to restrict access to the face recognition tools that are available through its Video Indexer services, Computer Vision, and AzureFace API.

As of now, the current users will be able to use these features till the end of this year. However, the features will not be available for the new users.

Facial recognition technology is a major concern

Facial recognition technology is a serious and major concern for private organizations and civil rights. As per some previous studies, the technology has been misidentifying female individuals and people with a darker complexion. So, the technology is far from ideal and perfect.

Microsoft Phase out Access to AI Facial Recognition Technology 1

And when the AI is used for detecting criminal suspects or during some other surveillance scenarios, it can lead to major consequences.

At the beginning of this year, Zoom Video Communications Inc. confirmed the news of considering adding “emotion AI” features. But the privacy group Fight for the Future stood against them by launching a campaign for not to add emotional AI features.

Microsoft’s chief responsible AI officer Natasha Crampton shared her thoughts through a blog post. She said that the company has realized that for AI systems to be trustworthy, they must be appropriate solutions for the issues they are intended to solve.

Microsoft will also discontinue those Azure services that include “emotional states and identifying features like age, gender, facial hair, smiles, cosmetics, and hairstyle. This is because face recognition has not been judged properly as per Crampton. 

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Mansi Gupta
"Fair and virtuous, Royal and gracious", this is how she represent herself. Hailing from the city of temples Jammu, she completed her studies in Himachal Pradesh. Being a student of journalism and mass communication, she was always passionate about writing and speaking. She has also worked as a news anchor and reporter for digital platforms. Currently, she is working as a full-time content writer. She strongly believes in the 'power of writing' as those little words make a huge difference.
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