Why People Are Confused About AI
Sun, April 11, 2021

Why People Are Confused About AI

The use of automatic facial recognition technology to scan people in crowds--often by the police--is lawful / Credits: HQuality via Shutterstock


Artificial intelligence surveillance has been adopted in many parts of the world as countries aim to make their people feel safer. While it brings countless benefits to humans, not everyone knows what AI means, leading to several misconceptions and misunderstandings. For instance, facial recognition technology is now being sold as standard in CCTV systems. However, many hospitals are wondering whether they should use it or not.

According to The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, the lack of clear ethical guidance from the government is the reason why many struggle to understand how to use AI. Tony Porter, a surveillance camera commissioner, stated that he has been receiving requests for guidance from public bodies since they are not aware of the limits in using facial, biometric and lip-reading technology.

“The problem is that there is insufficient guidance for public bodies to know what is appropriate and what is not, and the public has no idea what is going on because there is no real transparency,” Porter said. 

Understanding the uses and limits of AI is extremely important to avoid misconceptions. Reports show that the technology is being deployed across the public sector in surveillance and other purposes. For instance, the police are now using automatic facial recognition technology to scan people in crowds was lawful. Lord Evans, a former MI5 chief, believes that AI “should be visible, and declared, where it has the potential for impacting on civil liberties and human rights and freedoms.” 

However, AI surveillance is also widely criticized. While some believe that the use of automatic facial recognition technology to scan people in crowds is lawful, some are not convinced. Some have even accused AI technology of concluding that black people are more likely to re-offend. Thus, they should not be released on bail.

“We’ve been calling for a wider review for months. The SCC, for example, is the only surveillance regulator in England and Wales and we date back to when the iPhone 5 was new and exciting. So much has changed since,” Porter said.