Chapter 54. Facial Recognition on the Street and in Shopping Malls

Brendan Tierney

Over the past couple of years, most of the examples of using deep learning have involved image or object recognition. Typical examples include examining pictures to identify a cat or a dog, some famous person, and so on.

But what if this same technology was used to monitor people going about their daily lives? What if pictures or video captured you walking down the street or around a shopping mall, or on your way to work or to a meeting? These pictures and videos are already being taken of you without you knowing.

This raises a wide range of ethical concerns. There are the ethics of deploying such solutions in the public domain, but there are also ethical concerns for the data scientists and other people working on these projects. Remember: just because we can doesn’t mean we should. People need to decide, if they are working on one of these projects, whether they should be working on it—and if not, what they can do.

Ethics are principles of behavior based on ideas of right and wrong. Ethical principles often focus on ideas such as fairness, respect, responsibility, integrity, quality, transparency, and trust. A lot of ideas are there, but we all need to consider what is right and what is wrong. But what about the gray-area, borderline scenarios in which an interesting ...

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