The European parliament seems rather unyielding in its decision to put a ban on the use of facial recognition by police. They also called for a ban on another practice that has stirred up some controversy in recent times. We are talking about predictive policing. This practice makes use of artificial intelligence-based tools to profile potential criminals even before the criminal act is committed, which sounds rather unfair and stringent. Perhaps a total dependence on artificial intelligence, totally disregarding the human subtleties and nuances might not be the best plan to put into action. In fact, it can even have the opposite effect of what was intended.
The What and Why
It cannot be denied that artificial intelligence is scaling new heights and the evolution process it is undergoing, slowly transforming from a nascent stage to a more mature one is something that exudes potential and promise. However, when weighing its multiple advantages, it will be prudent to be wary of the million things that can go wrong if due diligence is not given to its various flaws and errors. Perhaps that is the reason why the European parliament is well in its guard, calling for a ban on facial recognition. The ban would mean that the police would no longer be able to use AI-based face recognition in public places. The members of the parliament who were in favor of the ban stressed the need for strong safeguards when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence by the police. The MEPs proposed that the citizens shouldn’t be monitored 24*7 unless they were suspected of a crime. The prime reason which led to this decision is the algorithmic bias in AI which might lead to unnecessary and unlawful discrimination which has to be avoided at all costs, thus emphasizing the need for human supervision and legal protection.
In addition to this, the MEPs also stated the need for a ban on private facial recognition databases. The one used by Clearview AI is a good example of that. The Parliament is also supportive of the European commission’s efforts to put a stop to the social scoring systems through their AI bill. These actions attest to the parliament’s concern for the citizen’s privacy and safety and how that precedes any kind of unlawful and unfair supervision in the name of safety. The resolution is also a good indicator of the inclination of the Parliament when it comes to AI and how it might vote during the AI Act negotiations.