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Responsible AI: Facial Recognition and Scientific Responsibility

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Facial Recognition and Scientific Responsibility

Episode 01: 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 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.

Recordings from this series are archived on YouTube and made available 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:


Event Contact

Joel Ericsen

Program Associate

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