Masks in the future shock world of the digital age will be deployed to fool the electronic brain of FR technology.
Within the contemporary framework of the information age, where 96% of Americans engage in hedonistic energy consumption as the oxymoron known as the smartphone has emerged as the status quo of a personalized brand transcending the fateful cosmic lottery dictating personal appearance, secrets are a casualty of circumstance. There is no mystery that the internet and the social networks possess a perfect memory which can be used for diabolical purposes, and the battle cry for effective transparency has resulted in the illumination of many ongoing transgressions by the tech community as caretakers of the digital infrastructure. The truths and lessons learned prove valuable and daunting, yet the individual end user with on average 2.1 online social media apps installed per installed seems content within a luxuriating hot tub of the oblivious. Human beings are not exclusive in attempting free will, as corporations are capable of applied knowledge as well.
IBM recently came to terms with the schitzophrenic pathway leading to the inevitability of facial recognition technology, and ungraciously has “ghosted” the unstable and experimental machine learning construct in ultimately parting ways. Company officials inferred that monumental flaws in the performance of the software resulted in the surprising decision. Rumor has it that the legacy computer manufacturer and the development of software differentiating between countless mugshots and selfies of human beings originally met on Tinder, and the unstable relationship crossed the threshold into morality. The vast totalitarian regime orchestrated by Beijing will have to wait of few more precious years before completely veiling a hapless populace under the cold and calculated electromagnetic chains and field of perfected servitude.
The timing is curious of the infamous of 20th century three letter acronym innovative corporate entities, releasing news of the arduous break-up during a tipping point in history, as Covid-19 and the lingering civil unrest echoing from the birth of the civil rights movement, dominates the vernacular due in large part to the smartphone addiction of instant gratification goodness. CEO Arvind Krishna announced the news to members of Congress. In a true representation of the an “either/or” scenario, the IBM scrapping the facial recognition program will not achieve headlines within the current visceral blizzard, but is definitely relevant to the ongoing duress in urban areas across the nation. Krishna’s decree sparked a domino effect, and Jeff Bezos and Amazon followed suit in shuttering FR services for a calendar year. The politically correct move screamed of damage control, as the entire tech industry has been maligned by reactionists over the last decade in claiming that minorities and women face extra challenges and routine discrimination throughout Silicon Valley.
Interestingly, research and testing points to a glitch in the code that may severely compromise the AI to effectively identify darker skinned individuals. As social justice and minority advocacy groups claim that racial profiling exists in all facets of society, IBM unleashing a surveillance accessory that could provide an enhancement for the current array of tools available to government, law enforcement, and security concerns is cannon fodder for instant controversy, especially with the reality that the software could be fatefully biased.
The supposed smart system identifies lighter complexion males correctly at an astronomically higher rate than darker skinned females, based on the alleged findings stemming from a smaller scale research project. The discrepancies from both a business and PR perspective were brought to the attention of company officials in 2018 by an MIT academic and social justice warrior. The published study, indicated that the software had only a .03% error rate in accurately picking out the fair skinned men, and a catastrophic 35% abundance of failure applied to matching darker toned female subjects. Not the results that IBM was hoping for in hanging their collective hard drive on in producing a revolutionary product applicable to streamlining large databases, and avoiding the cardinal sin of stigmatizing a minority group in a milieu already flooded by divisiveness.
The skewed numbers do not terminate the promise of a global marketplace thriving among the furtive underworld of renegade governments, where an individual face merely represents the sacrifices of the few for the greater cause.
Since the disproportionate results of the study were released, the company has authored a white paper highlighting the exponential jump in reducing the 35% abomination to a manageable 3.5%, however the noticeable progression of fundamental crucial operating parameters, apparently does not justify the computer giant’s continued involvement with the plausibly lucrative, yet controversial program. The entity of “Big Blue”, as affectionately named by generations of geeks and DIY aficionados, cagily and deviously chose the chaotic aftermath of the George Floyd tragedy to cautiously back away from the onset of a radioactive holocaust just the push of a button, or a viral social media post away from apologizing itself into oblivion in the fruitless attempt to appease the irrational legions of radical anarchists. Cynics argue that current applications of facial recognition protocol are egregiously identifying black offenders, as larger cities across the nation attempt to ensure some semblance of peace and order for citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights. The propensity of another corporate entity to cave into the implied demands of a sanctimonious narrative, indicative of just how insane the world has become. But with the current version of the volatile and corruptible software on duty, the extremists may be doing society a small favor in this case.
As the near future of the facial recognition industry is already on precarious footing thanks to the multitudinous abuses by the Chinese government in brainstorming and executing novel applications compromising the basic rights of citizens, the relentless scrutiny of critics citing a complete lack of institutional control, produces an insurmountable stigma. In an already highly skeptical environment, where individual privacy remains the chief concern as a reasonable response to the technocratic frenzy of world in the process of being completely digitized, the evolution of Big Brother, to HAL, and back to Big Brother is a disturbing circular logical loop. Whether or not the facial recognition system could be inadvertently biased is not the issue, but how easily the parameters and settings can be manipulated in order to distinguish and track a specific population demographic, an unyielding power that some folks are not ready to submit to bureaucrats.
While perceived reality continues to gravitate towards the digital hinterland, and the younger generations accept the texts and images of the diminutive touch screens as fact and truth synonymous with life, the online construct is no longer simply a dream from an escape. In attempting to replace the billions are years forging optical nuances and critical thinking skills, the cruel irony of validating the flesh and blood identity of an individual within the domain of smart software and AI, and not with adept sensory organs, carves another piece of humanity away in a ceasless and meticulous fashion.
As the social justice lobby assaults individual liberties and freedoms in attempting to redefine and redistribute the free market, in certain rare instances the movement actually reaches the border of an accomplishment. While facial recognition technology at the foundation is an unsettling concept that tempts evil, fortunately allowing CPU’s to determine fate is still light years away, a lesson that a defender of affirmative action helped in this case to substantiate. Even though activists are typically thermodynamically reckless in their approach to activity without achievement, sometimes the one in a billion notion comes into play and shocks the world.
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