Artificial Intelligence: Microsoft Restricts Access To Its Facial Recognition Technology

June 22, 2022 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Microsoft wants to ensure that its AI technology, including facial recognition, is developed and used responsibly.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced an update to how it approaches facial recognition, in a step towards aligning with its internal Responsible AI Standard. It has therefore removed AI classifiers of sensitive attributes, ramped up its investments in ethical AI, and announced a new Limited Access policy. (Microsoft)

Facial recognition

Here are the changes announced by Microsoft:

  • New customers need to apply for access to use facial recognition operations in Azure Face API, Computer Vision, and Video Indexer
  • Existing customers have one year to apply and receive approval for continued access to the facial recognition services
  • The company introduces use case and customer eligibility requirements to gain access to these services
  • Starting June 30, 2023, existing customers will no longer be able to access facial recognition capabilities if their facial recognition application has not been approved
  • Microsoft will no longer support a technology in its Face API that “infers” emotional states, gender, age, smile, facial hair, hair, and makeup
  • Detection of these attributes will no longer be available to new customers beginning June 21, 2022, and existing customers have until June 30, 2023, to discontinue use of these attributes before they are retired
  • Microsoft is offering customers a new Recognition Quality API that flags problems with lighting, blur, occlusions, or head angle in images submitted for facial verification. (“We acknowledge that this poor image quality can be unfairly concentrated among demographic groups.”)

  •  Microsoft also offers a reference app that provides real-time suggestions to help users capture higher-quality images that are more likely to yield accurate results.

Related Story: Microsoft’s Massive New Supercomputer for AI

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