The purpose of this document is to discuss the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is applied in facial recognition and voice recognition areas. Also, the benefits and risks that represent the use of these technologies in terms of privacy and liberty.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “the capacity of computers or other machines to exhibit or simulate intelligent behaviour” (“Artificial Intelligence”, 2019) . The development is precise at the beginning because it gives me a partial idea of what it is, but the lack of expansion is evident at the end since no more details are provided. The most effective way to find the definition of AI is to observe in an encyclopedia. According to Henderson, Artificial Intelligence is defined as follows “ The development of the modern digital computer following World War II led naturally to the consideration of the ultimate capabilities of what were soon dubbed ”thinking machines” or ”giant brains.” The ability to perform calculations flawlessly and at superhuman speeds led some observers to believe that it was only a matter of time before the intelligence of computers would surpass human levels”. (Henderson, 2009, p. 26) Deducing and combining “thinking machines”, “giant brains” and “perform calculations”, Artificial Intelligence is the proficiency of intelligent computer programs to carry out tasks cleanly. There is a difference between the first and the second definition since the second one is clearer and more expanded.
One of the application areas in Artificial Intelligence is the facial recognition and voice recognition. According to Kugler, facial recognition is “the ability of computer vision systems to identify specific human faces in photos and video. This technology can identify and log facial details of individuals by using cloud infrastructure to process images from a computer, smartphone or camera.” and voice recognition is “the ability of natural language processing (NLP) software to “understand” human language”. (Kugler, 2019, p. 17-18). Facial recognition allows law authorities to identify criminals in a quick manner. China and Russia, on the other hand, go further than that. Chinese government would manage a facial recognition database of all its citizens to allow identifying them. Russian government uses facial recognition in the massive protests to identify those citizens who are against of Putin’s regime. In contrast, social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat use facial recognition to tag users’ friends, either in photos or messages. Examples of voice recognition are the most famous systems called Siri and Alexa. They work in three steps: hears individual’s voice, processes what he/she says and issues a response. Amazon and Google have sold millions of these voice assistant machines. Nevertheless, facial and voice recognition could represent a headache for individuals since their privacy and free expression would be affected. No problem at all when big technologies companies, law officials and governments use citizens’ facial data for checking theft identity and fraud; however, there is an issue when they used them for observing, checking, or keeping a continuous record of individuals’ actions. On the other hand, when voice recognition machines are hearing individuals’ voices and tracking them down permanently, individuals’ privacy might be compromised as well. However, technologies companies have refused those accusations alleging that their devices always listen but do not record.
According to the major I am pursuing for; Artificial Intelligence would be defined as the group of machines that have the capacity to carry out tasks in a smart way or is the intelligence performing non-natural by using a set of instructions or steps. Facial recognition would be defined as the group of computers highly sophisticated to reveal individuals’ identity by their faces and voice recognition would be defined as the group od devices that assist users by hearing their voices.
Artificial Intelligence, n. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/271625.
Henderson, H. (2009) Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology. (Rev. ed., Facts on File science library). New York: Facts On File. 26-27
Kugler, L. (2019). Being Recognized Everywhere: How facial and voice recognition are reshaping society. Communications of the ACM, 62(2), 17-19.