IBM abandons face recognition business amid US protests

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The American company IBM will no longer be engaged in the development of face recognition technology. About this company CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to the US Congress.

The head of IBM called on Congress to carry out reforms aimed at promoting racial justice and combating systemic racism, while announcing that the company is leaving the face recognition business.

IBM’s decision to exit the face recognition business was made amid criticisms of technology for displaying racial and gender bias. Last year, Amazon put the issue to the vote of shareholders, 2.4% of which voted to ban the sale of technology to government agencies for reasons of confidentiality and civil rights.

In his appeal, Krishna noted that IBM is against the use of any technology, including face recognition technology, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, and violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The head of IBM calls for a national discussion on the use of face recognition technology in law enforcement.

Krishna, who took over as chief executive in April, said he is focused on developing IBM’s cloud services while remaining in the mainframe business. The company’s shares for the year rose slightly more than 1%, market capitalization is $ 135 billion.

IBM’s face recognition business didn’t bring significant revenue to the company, CNBC reports citing sources inside the company, but the solution remains noteworthy for the technology giant, which considers the US government its main customer. According to a person familiar with the situation, IBM decided to abandon this part of the business due to business and ethical principles at the same time. The company has noted the fears of many employees over the use of technology over the past few weeks, he added.

Krishna admits that artificial intelligence can help law enforcement ensure the safety of citizens, but users and developers of AI systems have the responsibility of checking their algorithms for bias. The head of IBM believes that this is especially important in the case of using AI in law enforcement, so testing of such systems should be conducted and the results should be openly covered.

The IBM CEO also called on congressmen to consider Republican Tim Scott from South Carolina bill requiring federal states to receive more information from the Justice Department about the use of violence by law enforcement officials in the Department of Justice.


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