Find Out If Your Photo Is In This AI Training Dataset
15 March, 2019, 05:23 | Author: Sammy Rose
IBM took almost a million photos from Flickr, used them to figure out how to train facial recognition training programs, and shared them with outside researchers. Increasingly, those photos are coming from the internet, where they're swept up by the millions without the knowledge of the people who posted them, categorized by age, gender, skin tone and dozens of other metrics, and shared with researchers at universities and companies.
The photos in IBM's dataset also do not include usernames or subject names, which would make it hard for people to identify people in photos.
It's also worth noting that IBM's original intentions may have been rooted in preventing AI from being biased against certain groups though - when it announced the collection in January, the company explained that it needed such a large dataset to help train for "fairness" as well as accuracy.
Sure, the image subjects may have given permission for a photo of themselves to be uploaded to Flickr and listed under a CC license, but those subjects weren't given a chance to give consent for their faces to be used to train AI facial recognition systems.
"None of the people I photographed had any idea their images were being used in this way", Greg Peverill-Conti told the news outlet.
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Despite IBM's assurances that Flickr users can opt out of the database, NBC News discovered that it's nearly impossible to get photos removed.
NBC points out that historically, researchers paid individuals to have their data collected, after obtaining signed consent.
"We take the privacy of individuals very seriously and have taken great care to comply with privacy principles, including limiting the Diversity in Faces dataset to publicly available image annotations and limiting the access of the dataset to verified researchers", a spokesperson said. "You are laundering the IP and privacy rights out of the faces", he says. Hopefully, the company makes it the opt-out process easier.
AI uses algorithms to power facial recognition software. "Facial recognition can be incredibly harmful when it's inaccurate and incredibly oppressive the more accurate it gets".
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