IBM will no longer offer, develop, or research facial recognition technology


IBM will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition or analysis software, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said in a letter to Congress today. The company will also no longer develop or research the technology. […]

“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any [facial recognition] technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency,” Krishna said in the letter. “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

The cynic in me says this is likely a PR-friendly way of axing an unprofitable business division. The optimist in me says this is a good thing.

Ultimately the only reason I can think of why I might want to use facial recognition software in a project is to develop a robotic pet that can recognize friendlies 🤔