Facial Recognition is Face Blind #8

A coalition of over fifty civil liberties teams delivered a letter to the Justice Department’s civil rights division Tuesday job for associate degree investigation into the increasing use of face recognition technology by police. “Safeguards to confirm this technology is getting used fairly and responsibly seem to be just about nonexistent,” the letter expressed. The routine unattended use of face recognition systems, in step with the handfuls of signatories, threatens the privacy and civil liberties of millions particularly those of immigrants and folks of color.

These civil rights teams were supplied with advance copies of a watershed 150-page report description in several cases for the primary time, however, native police departments across the country are exploitation automatic face recognition technology. Titled “The Perpetual Lineup,”, reveals that police deploy face recognition technology in ways in which are a lot of widespread, advanced, and unregulated than anyone has antecedently reportable.

“Face recognition could be a powerful technology that needs strict oversight. however those controls by and enormous don’t exist these days,” aforesaid Clare Garvie, one in every of the report’s co-authors. “With solely a couple of exceptions, there are not any laws governing police use of the technology, no standards making certain its accuracy, and no systems checking for bias. It’s a West.”

Of the fifty-two agencies that acknowledged exploitation face recognition in response to 106 records requests, the authors found that just one had obtained legislative approval before doing, therefore. Government reports have long confirmed that countless pictures of voters are collected and hold on in federal face recognition databases. Since a minimum of 2002, civil liberties advocates have raised considerations that countless drivers license photos of American citizens World Health Organization have not been in remission are being subject to facial searches a apply that amounts to a perpetual digital lineup. This report augments such fears, demonstrating that a minimum of one in four state or native enforcement agencies has access to face recognition systems.

These errors may be combined with the very fact that some face recognition algorithms are shown to identify African-Americans, women, and takes high rates. during a 2012 study co-authored by law enforcement agency consultants, 3 algorithms that were tested performed between five and ten % worse on black faces than on white faces. and therefore the overall accuracy of systems has been shown to decrease as a dataset expands. The Georgetown report interviewed 2 major automatic face recognition vendors that aforesaid that they failed to take a look at for racial basis, despite the very fact that systems are shown to be removed from “race-blind.”

Spotting Criminals with Facial Recognition #7

Face recognition technology will pick up on things like your age, gender and perhaps even your mood. Now, two researchers say it may even tell whether or not you’re a criminal. They are claiming to have developed a system that, once shown a series of faces it’s never encountered before, will spot guilty criminals. But different researchers have criticized the results, and say the work raises moral queries over what face recognition technology will and may be want to discover. The researchers exploited machine learning, asking face recognition computer code to guess whether or not an individual in associate ID-style image was a criminal or not, so feeding it the right answer. It learned to inform the distinction, eventually achieving an associate accuracy of up to ninety percent.

However, different face recognition specialists question their methodology. One issue is that the criminal pictures came from a Chinese information of ID photos, whereas the non-criminal pictures were web profile photos happiness to Chinese voters, that means the system may have picked informed variations between the 2 sources instead of in people’s faces. It’s not a haul to raise a moot question, says Francois Chollet, a deep learning scientist at Google, however the science must be based.
In fact, these systems aren’t objective and are typically subject to similar biases as humans. “These are tools that are cast by being beat with our own beliefs and observations,”. That’s to not say computers can’t create correct observations a couple of person’s face, typically even higher than humans. Face recognition computer code will already simply obtain things just like the form of a person’s nose or whether or not they ar smiling. Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, even claim to own developed the associated rule that may differentiate between the faces of Chinese, Japanese associated Korean individuals with an accuracy of seventy-five per cent – considerably higher than humans.

But even wherever the science is sound, moral queries arise over however these algorithms ought to be applied to real-world things. detection someone’s quality, for instance, might be wont to higher target services, however, it may even be want to discriminate. Researchers don’t invariably have management over however their work is employed. creating findings public, as Wu and Zhang have done, means anyone will scrutinize their validity, however it doesn’t get to be that approach. “What would scare ME additional would be if a personal company did this and oversubscribed it to a local department. There’s nothing to prevent that from happening,” says Frankle. Earlier this year, Frankle and his colleagues found that the bulk people police departments exploitation face recognition do very little to make sure that the computer code is correct. because the technology becomes additional wide used, therefore will the urgency of deliberation up the ethics of its use. Computer scientists ar gaining increasing power over people’s lives, however, they don’t have the moral education to support that role.

(9) Course of Action – Ethical Frameworks

Course of Action

As previously mentioned, there are three groups that could take the fall for the salient ethical issues in question. Looking at the first group that consist of vehicle and equipment manufactures. Over the years, car manufacture has cut corners before, to make the extra buck. So, with a faulty infrastructure, it car manufacture take the blame. But then again, equipment manufacture may not be that far off. Although the equipment that the vehicle has been using to take information, has been around for a while. But much of the equipment only works best, when in suitable conditions. Which mainly consist sunny all the time conditions. [MENTION FALSE INFORMATION]

The second group, consist of software and security programmers. The software developers who work on autonomous vehicles are the one who decide, what the car does at any given time. Which is what makes the vehicle autonomous. Like many of our software, it need to be protected from individuals that cold do harm from entering the vehicles software. What makes these two so important, is what happen is one is tampered with. If the security software in the vehicle in not good enough to keep hackers away, then things can go dire from there. When a vehicle is hacked, that means that the person that made it in, has the capabilities of stirring trouble. Not only for person within the vehicle, but also for those who are put into harm’s way.

The third group in question is ourselves. For the most, people tend to by what they want and make their own. But the problem with that is, when it comes to autonomous vehicles, people should probably stay clear of tampering them. One of the most common modification that a person could do to a vehicle, is upgrading their sound system. Which would involve having to add wire to support the amount of energy that they would use. But this would mess with the original setting that would support the autonomous vehicle. If the vehicle were to have a short circuit because of it, it would most likely effect the processing unit. Which make the autonomous vehicle possible to drive, by itself.

Ethical Frameworks

I have chosen ethical frameworks, that I believe that align with the strengths and weaknesses to each action. I have chosen deontological ethics of both car/equipment manufacture and programmers. Deontological ethics is where the duty that these two groups are provided, to advance the technology in their respective fields. These two groups have taken it upon themselves to advance innovation, which many could benefit millions in the long run. Which as previously state the many benefit that autonomous vehicles could bring to our society. But also, the negative aspect that people feel daunting at times, that could really hurt the advancement of the technology. What dawn on the me the most is the people’s ethical framework.

Whichever way that the people choose to pursue the technology, there action would be carried on as egoism ethics. The reason being, that if the technology does continue to be implement into society, it is because the people allow it. Which people would take advantage of the benefits of having autonomous vehicles. But if the people would choose not to proceed with the integration, that it is something that could work to their benefit as well. Many of those who would be effected, could be still hold their job. In the end, people would only choose the action that would look out for their own self-interest.

Final Paper (Agribots)


In the digital age, technology does not cease to amaze, aide, and leave humankind with questions and concerns. For the past 12,000 years, agriculture has relied on manual labor to harvest crops across the globe. With the rise in technology, agricultural robots, also known as agribots, are in development with the intention of replacing human manual labor. Agribots have applicable use during the harvesting stage of the agricultural cycle. According Eduardo González, Jr., State Diversity Specialist, Cornell University Cooperative Extension Farm workers in United States, 1 to 3 million of migrant workers work on harvesting.  Agribots not only promise the farmers of America a profit gain and make feeding the increasing world’s population possible, but also compete with millions of farmworkers for the same position. The development of crop appropriate agricultural robots that work with nearly perfect accuracy will bring long term economic and social advantages to society, but the issue of creating these machine brings an environmental concern. When we look at the ethical dilemma of jobs at stake and the earth’s health, we must look through a just and overly beneficial framework.

Technology in the agriculture domain is not a new idea. Historically, technology in agriculture has yielded higher productivity, where productivity is the ratio of input to output (Madden & Thompson, 87). The result of higher productivity continues to yield larger quantities of food, which is a sensible result. The role of agriculture is to adequately feed the world with fresh produce and plentiful crops. A problem that technology in agriculture has worked to solve, and continues to solve, is helping agriculture meet its task of feeding our world population. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, there will be 9.7 billion people on planet earth to feed by the year 2050. With such an increase in our population, the role of agriculture will remain as feeding the population. Technology, albeit not necessarily digital, has revolutionized agriculture in various eras. In order to keep up with the demand of food, feeding people at this scale will continue to utilize the scalable aide that only modern technology can provide.

Technology in agriculture affects three dominant areas, according to Dr. Sarala Gopalan. These areas are social, environmental, and economical. Each sector includes varying stakeholders. One stakeholder is the consumer, as their stake is the consumption and purchase of agricultural harvest.  As a consumer, food consumption is essential for living. Whether it be for health or energy, the daily consumption of food is vital to a consumer. The stake for the consumer is then to not only have an adequate amount of food to purchase, but to be able to do so at an affordable market price. Early adopting farms will have a beneficial stake in adopting automated technology into their harvesting process. By adopting early, farm owners will increase their profits. The rise of crops and decline in human age introduces a dilemma for the farmer; some of the harvest has the potential to be left unattended due to to imbalance of crops to human works(2009). The farmer will then benefit from adopting an agribot workforce by preventing the rotting of harvest.  The national economy will also be a beneficiary as their purchasing power increases. The national economy can also benefit from the export of farming commodities (Madden & Thompson, 88). The two stakeholders that can potentially be negatively affected by technology in agriculture are the current farm workers and animals. The current farm workers whose job is to harvest crops will be in competition with the automation of their job. Depending on the city of the fields, a varying percentage of citizens will become unemployed. The safety of animals in the handling procedures, like milking a cow, for example, are contingent upon the reliability of the technology at hand. If the machinery operating on the animal has little to no flaws, it can sustain the animal’s longevity. On the other hand, if the machinery is defective, the animal’s health will be at risk. All of the above-mentioned stakeholders each will influence how the ethical temperature on the matter unfolds.

The subject of automating manual labor with agribots introduces multiple perspectives. The two oxymoronic perspectives that bubble above the rest are the states of job loss and job creation. Automating such a position brings to question the elimination of all low-skill positions, which is at the heart of the ethical dilemma and a scare to current farm workers, economists, and politicians. There exists an other side to this fear; the side of job creation. Capitalizing on sophisticated 21st-century technology in agriculture also opens a new line of specialized positions. Specialized programmers and robotic engineers will be needed to design, create, and maintain these lines of robots. A relieving perspective of any possible worry due to job loss is that is leaves us with a larger pool of potential investment money that can be used to fund new companies. If the robots are truly profit enhancing and yield higher quality of fresh produce as they are marketed to be, the amount of benefits that can come from their creation and implementation are revolutionary. Other perspectives include the lower cost of food due to the abundant production.  All of these perspectives need to be addressed before any person’s manual labor becomes automated.

The current market of agribots have come a long way where technologies such as the Gripper, Manipulator and End Effector have been designed to produce a higher quality of fresh produce in an efficient manner. The End Effector, is designed for grasping, pushing, and cutting produce and is being used in Japan on grapes and berries for tasks of spraying, harvesting and packing.  The Gripper is designed in such a way that it considers the crop it will be working on. If a crop requires for the fruit to be cut from the stem, it will be designed with a device to serve these capabilities. This grasping device has a simplistic design and is useful for harvesting. The Manipulator serves as the body, which allows the gripper to navigate its environment. The Manipulator are “created from a sequence of link and joint combinations.” (RobotWorx). Manipulators are not usually mobile, but rather are mounted on the ground. The current state of robots do have computer vision capabilities and other sensing capabilities, but are not quite where they need to be to replace humans on farms.

The transition from where agriculture is today to where it is going to be will not happen overnight.  The creation of reliable robots that are created for the appropriate crop will need to be created and thoroughly tested.  Because farms are more challenging to automate than factories, agribots will need dexterous engineering to withstand the natural dynamic conditions of a farm. The ultimate goal of engineering efforts will need to fulfill the desired outcomes a farmer has for their crops. Tony Stentz of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says that picking fruit is not the challenge, but rather doing so cost efficiently is. Luckily for farmers, agribots of today have been engineered to include vision and other sensing systems to meet their promise of efficiency.  The nature of fruit variation with varying levels of sensitivity needs to be considered as well. Robots will need to be able to perform hand-picking movements such as twisting, plucking or sucking produce from stems all the while doing so with the right amount of pressure. Farms have far more variables to consider when they are placed in outdoor environments, like changing weather conditions. Though we have robots that are capable of manual labor in greenhouse environments, engineers need to consider the longevity of robots in regard to dynamic circumstances.  Agribots that are able to withstand open air farm environments will need to be developed.

When agribots become fit for such dynamic conditions and not have the limitations the the agribots of today have, each farm will have options to consider for their workforce. Assuming that enough early adopters find success with the integration of agribots in place of humans, even for a portion of their land, popularity and agribot demand is assumed. In this hypothetical case, farmers will have three options of adoptions. The first option for farmers will be for farmers to remain fully human operated, despite the rise in agribot popularity.  The second option that farmers will be able to make is the polar opposite; to rid human manual labor entirely and transition to a fully agribot operated farm. Spread, a Japanese vegetable producer has already set out to do this (2016). There does not need to be such polarity, though. The other option that is in the realm of possibilities is to reserve a fraction of low-skill manual positions for humans that are not in the position to acquire expert skills to create or maintain robots. Each option has weighted benefits and drawbacks that need to be closely examined by farm owners who wish to progress in their agricultural endeavours.

The first option of preserving an all human workforce has short term benefits for a small percentage of the population. On the other side of the same coin, it also reaps long term drawbacks to society. Remaining in the state of an all human workforce prevents the unfortunate possibility of a father or mother, or any existing manual laborer for that matter, becoming incomeless. The benefit is clear for the existing manual workforce; job security. The farmer is rest assured that the human is knowledgeable on safe picking and has exceptional vision and sensory capabilities from experience. Deciding to go with this option is to use a fairness or just ethical approach, which means that whatever is deemed as just is first observed through a fairness lens. Consequences in this case, are not considered.  Conversely, preserving an all human operated farm raises issues that Japan is facing right now. The problem of an aging population eliminates personpower to execute all parts of the agricultural cycle — planting, cultivating, maintaining, and harvesting. In this option, there is the undesired end for a farmer, which is to lose crop due to insufficient harvesting effort. A farm operating entirely on human power also comes with limitations of a solely sun-lit workday. As the population continues to grow, the limitations of an all person workforce will not be able to meet the demands of a much larger human population. Deciding to go with this option is to use a fairness or just ethical approach, which means that whatever is deemed as just is first observed through a fairness lens. Consequences in this case, are not considered.

Considering the second option of completely automating manual labor also has its share of benefits and drawbacks. Under the assumption that a farmer is making a decision to operate their farm solely on agribots due to their proven dexterous abilities to weather dynamic outdoor environments and familiarity with the crop or crops associated with the farm, very little concerns are raised. Aside from taking the jobs of various people, the other potential drawbacks are defects in technology. They may not be one hundred percent reliable in all weather conditions, despite previous testings, and will need regular maintenance in the case of updates or replacement. This is part of business and not necessarily a hindrance to business, as humans also are liabilities. Similarly, agribots will have costs that can accumulate to more than humans. Humans cost about $25,000 a year, while agribots can cost $32,000 each, according to researchers from the Bosch Group (2016). Various other benefits that this transition brings is, oxymoronically job creation. Jobs will be created for the research, design, creation and maintenance of Agribots. These jobs, of course require skills that will employ a skilled workforce rather than a lay workforce. To mitigate the negative effects that the job loss aspect of this option brings to low-skilled workers, there is the option for manufacturing companies to prioritize their low-skilled positions to the group of people who will be left without a position as a manual laborer. This is under the assumption that manufacturing companies will be located in the United States, and not offshore. Under these assumptions, the benefits of having an all agrobotic work force can reap the efficiency it promises, with an initial cost that can be costly.  

If a farm is fully employed by Agribots, the assumption is that there will be an increase in production. Economic development is prized by growth with less (Tamney, 2015). With such a circumstance, John Tamny, Forbes Magazine author and author of Popular Economics,  hypothesized that robots will generate investment capital to fund future companies of the future. Due to the supposed surplus of revenue that will be generated by these agribots, there will be opportunity for farm owners to become investors. In this situation, farmers would use some amount of their earnings to fund other companies, thus creating an entrepreneurial eco-system of economic growth. This perspective is long term, and doesn’t account for the immediate results of job loss to the short term job loss or initial cost of agribots. The option of a full fledged agribotic workforce still does not account for the number of jobs that can be lost and not replaced. Though having this option will hopefully drive the children of farm workers to aspire to become skilled workers, the adults that have a family to maintain, or simply enjoy the outdoors will still be in a jobless dilemma, even if it is short term. Using this option involves a utilitarian approach which means that the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people is considered. An article from Santa Clara University says, “Given its insistence on summing the benefits and harms of all people, utilitarianism asks us to look beyond self-interest to consider impartially the interests of all persons affected by our actions.”

The third options is a hybrid of the last two options. The idea is that some farms will choose neither to be fully human operated or fully agribotic operated. Farms would instead have a fraction of their workforce be humans and the remainder be agribots. The ratio of people to agribots on a farm can vary depending on the advancements that have been made on the agribots, the type of produce the farm yields, and the heart that the farm owner has for keeping low-skilled positions open to those who either like the option of working with their hands in the outdoors or have no option. This option has much flexibility for fair mitigations on a farm-to-farm basis. There could be a grace period of keeping some number of employed humans until they find a replacement. Such measures eliminate any societal short term drawbacks that this transition could have. The same benefits that agribots generally bring to the landscape of agriculture still hold true in this option. One possible downturn is a revolt of human workers that do not like the idea of sharing a position of a robot. There is the possibility of human workers turning the table on their farm, in a worst case, it could be during harvest, where they are most needed. This option still holds the benefits of job creation, economic development and scaleable harvest. This option considers both approaches, the fairness and utilitarian views.

My solution is the third option of a hybrid plan. J.P. Gownder, an analyst with the Boston-based tech research firm Forrester, says that it is a job transformation, not a job replacement. A father  and mother will still have an opportunity to gain a position working a blue collared position, or with proper training, work along side the robot, not in lieu of it (Metz, 2016). Priority employment at robot manufacturing facilities will be given to previous farm workers in effort to mitigate the impact of this transition. When the time comes for a full migration from human to robots, I believe that the most ethical thing for a company to do is option two: keep a fraction of  human workers on the fields for the amount of time they see appropriate. This option seems like a conservative and flexible decision to make. Since the demographics vary from farm to farm, each farm would have the flexibility of making a ratio appropriate human to agribot count. This decision is sound especially for a farm that has not yet been an early adopter of agribots. They can always be introduced with a small fraction of agribots to test the water while human workers that were replaced would have the opportunity to work at the manufacturing facility, the remainder of human workers would also have an opportunity to secure a job elsewhere. Farmers that have been through early adoptions stages can still follow this route and utilize their current human workforce for purposes of partial agribotic maintenance, while workers still have work in the meantime. Having a hybrid workforce allows room for an interaction between human and robot. If a program was put in place to train existing works how to maintain these agribots, this would be the ideal case and could also be extended up until the replaced workforce would retire. The children of the farmers would ideally be placed in a program that taught them tech skills. This would allow for their potential to be realized as an individual and provide an alternative to physical labor that will not be available.

This is ethically justified through the lense of John Stuart’s Utilitarian framework where the greater good is done for the greatest amount of people. From this framework, the greater amount of good is the people that will be healthy due to proper food supply that was harvested by an efficient agribot workforce, job creation, economic development, lower cost in produce, new opportunities for existing manual laborer to possibly learn new skills and to maintain the agribots, a wave a new young engineers where the least amount of good is the short term loss of a job.  As a student of computer science and software engineering, the transition from a human workforce to one of agribots does not affect me economically, but theoretically benefits me. This recommendation is especially true under the assumptions that these decisions will begin to be made after more advancements have been made on the agribots. This is a scenario where the agribots have been designed and built to withstand the dynamic variations that an open air, less controlled, weather variant experiences. Some limitations to this stance could be that existing laborers simply are not interested in learning how to maintain new agribots.

Seeing that technology is inevitable, and in fact growing quickly in agriculture, being academically prepared is the best solution for the youth. Students interested in agriculture need to make an educational choice to study a major that falls in the STEM category (Science Technology Engineering and Math).  If people are studying the Science of Agriculture, it would be wise to minor or at least be knowledgeable in computer science to some extent. For the adults who are in fear of job loss, I would recommend being financially ready in the case that their job does become replaced by an agribot. Having a savings fund to account for up to 6 months to a year of income would alleviate any financial loss during time spent away from work during their job transition. If the current farm worker is able to commit time to learning technical skills at a local community college or online, they would find a greater chance of keeping up with the changing landscape of jobs. A farm owner who sits in the ultimate decision seat needs to carefully consider their land size, current workforce, and future implications of which option is best to execute the demand that a growing population bring.

Automating manual labor in agriculture can be done in an ethical matter. When agribots reach a reliable and agile stage, decision makers will need to make a decision that is best suitable for all stakeholders. Choosing to maintain a farm with a hybrid workforce will best reach the needs of all stakeholders. The stakeholders that this most aligns with is the consumer and farm owner, though current farm workers are considered to the full possible extent. The short term effect it can have on an individual or society can be mitigated by having the person affected prepare now, or by the farm owner’s best judgment in deciding how quickly they wish to increase the employment of amount of agribots.



University, Santa Clara. “Calculating Consequences:The Utilitarian Approach To Ethics”. Scu.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 May 2017.

Madden, P., & Thompson, P. B. (n.d.). Ethical Perspectives on Changing Agricultural Technology in the United States. An Agricultural Law Research, 3, 85-116. Retrieved May 17, 2016, from http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/maddenthompson_ethical.pdf

Ziegler, P. (n.d.). The Impact of the Cotton Gin. Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.teachingushistory.org/lessons/pdfs_and_docs/documents/theimpactofthecottongin.html

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What is a robot manipulator? (n.d.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from https://www.robots.com/faq/show/what-is-a-robot-manipulator

Metz, C. (2015, August 24). Robots Will Steal Our Jobs, But They’ll Give Us New Ones. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/2015/08/robots-will-steal-jobs-theyll-give-us-new-ones/

Stock, M. (2016, January 19). Biodegradable bodies for more eco-friendly robots. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-smartmaterials-eco-robots-idUSKCN0UX25V

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Gonzalez, E. (2015, October 5). Migrant Farm Workers: Our Nation’s Invisible Population – eXtension. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://articles.extension.org/pages/9960/migrant-farm-workers:-our-nations-invisible-population

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Identity Crisis #6

The world of technology is changing every day, more and more devices and programs are made to make life easier, but at what point does technology start taking our identity. One of these examples is a technology that Facebook is working on. They are going to introduce a technology at a PC convention uncovering how it has made a device that is nearly as accurate as the human brain with regards to stating whether two different photos can identify the same person. An individual will find the solution around 97.53% of the time, while Facebook’s innovation scores an amazing 97.25%. However, Facebook’s “DeepFace” technology bring up huge issues about the power of today’s facial recognition devices and what these mean for what’s to come. Facebook is not the only tech organization working on facial recognition. A patent was filed by Apple in regards to this technology and indicates how they are wanting to utilize facial recognition as a way of opening its own devices. This means unlocking your iPhone might be as easy as just looking at your device. That simple.

Google has also been working very hard on facial recognition as well. Quite a bit of Google’s interest in facial recognition involves their tech called image search. They are trying to develop a better way to organize the billions of photographs that exist on the web. Google is ultimately trying to comprehend everybody online, using those photos to sort out your entire life history. This raises the issue, what if the person uploading these photos didn’t want them to be used in this manner. Well despite them not waiting that to happen there is no way around it, if you post something online it will be available for the taking and before you know it you’ll end up with a social media account that you did not sign up for.

Not everyone is upbeat about this technology progressing. US congressman Al Franken has voiced strong negative beliefs against applications that utilize facial recognition to identify strangers. Maybe congressman Al Franken is right. How far is too far? When comes the point that we lose all privacy and our digital image becomes infringed upon. These are the questions we need to ask ourselves, or at least the developers need to ask while making this technology. I believe that this technology will make the world a better place. It will also make identities harder to steal because it will be able to determine if the person is the real you or not. It will be a lot harder for identity thieves to steal anyone’s identity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with this technology and how it will enhance our lives for the better.

Facial Recognition Nightmare #5

It is well known that facial recognition technology is approaching fast and will be used for countless beneficial reasons. However, how can this tech be abused and used in a negative manner? The article “Our Facial Recognition Nightmare Is Upon Us” by Jeff John Roberts, touches on this topic and shares some insight into the scary, yet real consequences of facial recognition technology. He describes how understanding how the tech works is an important part to see how it can be abused. There are two parts to using the tech. First, the computer runs an algorithm to recognize faces. Second is how fast the computer can find a match. It is now possible for computers to use faces as a one of a kind identifier, and find other matches on the Internet. Some apps can cipher through millions of photos and can find a match within seconds. This is how Facebook can ask you “is this Gary?” after you have posted a picture on the site. Roberts goes on to explain that the reason this is a nightmare is because the technology is escaping the control of any gatekeepers.

Online images are turning into a new way to spy on people in the real world. Imagine if you were someone that had an incurable disease or were in the closet about your sexuality, this technology would be able to identify people coming and going from establishments that cater to these individuals. Roberts states that we are not at this point yet but face-tracking is catching on and could end up being abused like in Russia. Right now, Facebook and Google are collecting millions of photos every day and have the best tagging technologies. What would happen if someone were to hack their database? This yields a lot of concern.

Roberts concludes that we need to put more regulations on this tech. He encourages people to wake up and take action before we become a complete surveillance nation. He most has a great point here. This could turn out to be a scary planet if at any time a person can know our where about and know every little detail about us. Even companies having that information is scary because of what evil things that they could use it for. Ultimately I believe that this technology will be used for good purposes and not be as much as a threat as people would think. However, I also believe that It’s a good thing to make people aware of the possibility of this technology being used for bad things. Hopefully, we can find a way to regulate how the information is used.  This technology has the opportunity to help a lot of people and hopes that it will become an important tool for humanity instead of the horrible alternative.

(10) Social Constraints and Issues Part II

People in general have a mistrust to new technology, especially when it pertains to the individual safety.  Especially when people hear about how a Tesla on auto pilot, got his own in a fatal crash (New York Times). The take away from this, is that the feature in question was auto pilot and it not being autonomous. But they are not wrong to be skeptical of the technology. As the Scientific America describes it, “Autonomous Vehicles Are Still ‘Teen Drivers’” (Scientific America). There should be a high bar, when it comes to the safety of the American people. But not that it would cripple the advancement of autonomous vehicles must offer. There have been multiple companies that integrated an autonomous vehicle program. Looking at Googles Waymo, it shows that close to all the accident that the autonomous vehicle was involved in, were in part by human error. With the level of accuracy that the autonomous vehicle show while they drive, they also show promise in helping lower vehicle pollution.

Autonomous vehicles could contribute to lowering the nations greenhouse gasses. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the second largest greenhouse gas contributor (EPA).  The Eno: Center for Transportation wrote an article highlighting some of the way autonomous vehicle increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution (Eno). The one example is optimizing driving efficiency, by having an adjustment to the amount of gas being throttled. Which has statistically proven to lower emissions as high as sixty percent. The second example, involved the vehicles being in the inner city. Autonomous vehicles could lower the amount of congestion that get build-up in the cities. Where most of the vehicles tend to stop-n-go, which contributes to the pollution. What ties closely to safe driving and gas efficiency, are the potential change to how our driving habits are architecture around.

Although it may seem that some of the aspect that autonomous vehicles, may be futuristic, it may not seem so far off. One of the biggest reason that we have traffic light that tell us what to do, is to help the person driving. But with autonomous vehicle in the rise, the idea of traffic light, might go obsolete. In a video called, “The Simple Solution to Traffic” by CGP Grey goes in depth describing the problem with traffic, humans. By removing the human aspect to driving, it could truly be efficient. Again, even though these ideas may seem far, this is something where autonomous vehicle could be headed.

All these social constraints and issue have a correlation to the salient ethical issue. These are issues contributes to part of the dilemma, because it asked the question if it’s worth having autonomous vehicles on the streets. That would lead to salient ethical issue in question. Therefore, companies are having to do extensive research, by having their vehicle being available in certain cities.