Amazon is a major federal contractor. AWS powers ICE raids and detention camps.
Amazon’s Rekognition facial recognition software can now detect human fear, among other emotions, the company that works with ICE under Donald Trump announced today.
That’s not terrifying news at all.
“We have added a new emotion, ‘fear’”, the company said today, announcing a service update to Rekognition. Amazon says the system now identifies eight emotions, including “angry”, “disgusted”, and “surprised,” which combined, express my feelings about the fact that AWS is a major contractor with the federal government under Donald Trump.
Protesters have rightly targeted the company in recent months for creating the technology that powers immigration raids and indefinite extrajudicial detention of people, including citizens of Latin American descent who are wrongly suspected of being undocumented.
The administration’s push against immigrants is manifestly racist, and rooted in kooky white supremacist and nazi ideas about eugenics and race-mixing, thanks Herrs Miller and Bannon.
The public cloud behemoth has also improved accuracy for emotion detection of the other seven emotions it recognises. These are “happy”, “sad”, “angry”, “surprised”, “disgusted”, “calm”, and “confused. It has also improved age range estimation accuracy.
The company said in the short update Monday that triggered the reaction: “Amazon Rekognition provides a comprehensive set of face detection, analysis, and recognition features for image and video analysis. Today, we are launching accuracy and functionality improvements to our face analysis features.
“Face analysis generates metadata about detected faces in the form of gender, age range, emotions, attributes such as ‘Smile’, face pose, face image quality and face landmarks. With this release, we have further improved the accuracy of gender identification. In addition, we have improved accuracy for emotion detection (for all 7 emotions: ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’, ‘Surprised’, ‘Disgusted’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Confused’).
“[We have] added a new emotion: ‘Fear’. Lastly, we have improved age range estimation accuracy; you also get narrower age ranges across most age groups.”
Responses from Twitter follow.
Are you fucking kidding me?
AWS comes under fire for Rekognition sales to the federal government, who in turn is building concentration camps for children, and AWS’s response is to improve “age range estimation” and “fear detection” in the service?
Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?! https://t.co/RiQ850uAFq
— Corey Quinn (@QuinnyPig) August 12, 2019
In 25 years we’re going to be talking about how AWS handled this situation in the same way we talk about how IBM enabled the holocaust.
Every engineer and ML researcher who worked on this should be ashamed of themselves. https://t.co/tdqBudqJrV
— Robert Hafner (@tedivm) August 13, 2019
[via Techmeme, SLIDES: AMAZON.COM]
The largest single-state worksite immigration raid in American history took place today. Under orders from openly racist U.S. president Donald Trump, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 680 Latinx people who worked at numerous food processing plants throughout the state of Mississippi.
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