Microsoft Suspends AI Tools That Identify Emotions

The Microsoft will suspend sales of artificial intelligence (AI) facial recognition toolsincluding a software capable of identifying emotions from images of a person’s face. The decision was announced on Tuesday (21).

According to the company, the use of these programs has raised discussions regarding the privacy of users. Such solutions were also heavily criticized by experts, due to the technology’s inability to relate facial expression to emotional state in some situations.

The decision was influenced by a major overhaul of the tech giant’s AI ethics policies, which emphasize greater responsibility in the use of smart tools. In this way, access to some facial recognition services (Azure Face) will be limited, while other features will be completely removed.Azure Face users will have to inform how and where the technology will be deployed.Source: Pixabay

In the statement, Microsoft also confirmed the retirement of the functionality of identifying physical characteristics (age, beard, hair, gender, etc.) On the other hand, solutions with less harmful potential, such as those that blur faces in photos and videos, will continue to be available.

Old customers will have access until 2023

From the suspension of the commercialization of the AI facial recognition technologies, Microsoft will no longer allow new users access to emotion detection tools and physical attributes. Old customers will be able to use them until June 30, 2023.

While public access becomes restricted, some of these resources will continue to be used by the company in Seeing AI app. The platform uses machine learning to describe scenes for people with visual impairments.

Similar restrictions are also provided for the function Custom Neural Voice, which makes it possible to create synthetic AI voices based on recordings of real people. Technology is a kind of audio deepfake”, having the ability to deceive listeners, a use that the developer intends to avoid.

Larry Brown

I graduated from Yale University, Department of Television. I have been a professional news writer for 3 years. I am continuing my career here by establishing site 3 months ago.