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Responsible AI: Facial Recognition and Scientific Responsibility

This is a Facebook Live event
September 10, 2019 at 12PM Eastern: Facebook Live on Facial Recognition and Scientific Responsibility

Facial recognition is one type of artificial intelligence that is becoming ever more pervasive in our society. It can make our lives easier by accomplishing various tasks such as unlocking smartphones with just a glance, and automatically tagging our friends and family in photos on social media. However, many ethical, legal and human rights concerns exist about facial recognition, from inaccuracies in the technology to its application as a means of general surveillance. Given this, what are the responsibilities of developers and users to ensure facial recognition is transparently, ethically, and justly developed and applied?

Join us for an interview with two leading experts on facial recognition technology who will explore the current capabilities of facial recognition, debunk the myths and explain the realities of its current degree of accuracy, and explore the potential medium and long-term capabilities of the technology. Learn about current efforts to address the ethical, legal and social implications of the technology and consider how these concerns should inform developers and users of the technology.

This is the first in a three-part AAAS series that is sponsored by Hitachi and aims at exploring artificial intelligence technologies, the current capabilities of the technologies, their ethical and policy implications, and the responsibilities of the scientists and engineers developing the technologies.

You do not need a Facebook account to view this event.

The next interviews in this series will be held on October 8 at 12:00 p.m. and November 12 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Recordings from this series will be archived on the AAAS website.


Neema Singh Guliani is a senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Washington Legislative Office, focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national security issues. Prior to joining the ACLU, she worked in the Chief of Staff’s Office at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, concentrating on national security and civil rights issues.

P. Jonathon Phillips is an Electronic Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Information Technology Laboratory (NIST). One of the foremost experts on facial recognition, he has published more than 100 peer reviewed papers on face recognition, computer vision, biometrics, psychology, forensics, statistics, and neuroscience. He is an IEEE Fellow and an International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR) Fellow.

Jessica Wyndham (Moderator) is the Director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program. She also serves as coordinator of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of scientific, engineering, and health associations that recognize the role of science and technology in human rights. Her areas of expertise include the intersections of science, technology, human rights and ethics, the social responsibilities of scientists and engineers, and the role of professional scientific, engineering and health societies in the promotion and protection of human rights.

A special thank you to our sponsor:

Related Opportunities

AAAS is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 cohort of AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellows. This program convenes mid-career scientists who demonstrate leadership in both their research careers and in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society.

Each year, 15 Leshner Fellows from disciplines at the nexus of important science-society issues convene for a week of public engagement and science communication training and public engagement plan development in Washington, DC, and then continue their activities while at their home institutions during the fellowship year. The 2020 cohort will be comprised of active researchers in the field of artificial intelligence, new and emerging technologies that seek to replicate, mimic or augment human cognitive capabilities.

Applications are due October 1, 2019. For eligibility and application requirements, please visit:

Event Contact

Joel Ericsen

Program Assistant

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