Chinese researchers claim AI can spot criminal faces


In 2016 researchers in China claimed an experimental algorithm could correctly identify criminals based on images of their faces 89% of the time. The research involved training an algorithm on 90% of a dataset of 1,856 photos of Chinese males between 18 and 55 with no facial hair or markings. Among them were 730 ID pictures of convicted criminals or suspects wanted by the Ministry of Public Security. However, criminology experts warned that the results may merely reflect bias in the criminal justice system, since the training data included myriad judgements by many actors such as police, prosecution, and courts that could be affected by factors other than offending behaviour. These include prejudices about what criminals look like, which may be reflected in the algorithm's responses. Experts noted that the belief that there are "criminal" faces is an old one that has been previously debunked, and warned against deploying such a system.

Writer: BBC
Publication: BBC


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