Protesters in New York criticizing Amazon’s ties to ICE Photo: Kevin Hagen (Getty) Most people familiar with face-scanning software suite Amazon Rekognition, its place in the surveillance state, and its questionable efficacy are apt to fear what the consequences of such a technology might be when deployed against civilians.
As the company was delighted to point out, fear is also also the most recent emotion Rekognition is now able to detect.
In an otherwise short and unremarkable press release posted on the company’s Amazon Web Services site yesterday regarding “accuracy and functionality improvements” to Rekognition, Amazon wrote (emphasis ours): 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.
What about Rekognition might have you afraid, possibly in a way that’s visually identifiable to a piece of software which can then compartmentalize, categorize, and improve itself to better detect similar fear states in the grim days to come?
When asked what possible use case could justify having Rekognition verify human fear, Amazon spokesperson Jesse Freund responded that criminal, human trafficking, and missing children cases could all be potential use cases.
Inexplicably, Freund closed by suggesting that it could be fun to use Rekognition on people at amusement parks.