The Ukrainian government confirms that it uses Clearview AI to identify… dead Russian soldiers?

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of place-the-first-tick-in-the-not-bad-column department

Last week, Reuters broke near-news that Clearview had donated its technology to the war effort in Ukraine. According to statements made only by the company and its CEO, Hoan Ton-That, the Ukrainian government was using Clearview’s database of 10 billion facial images (all retrieved for free from the open web) to identify dead bodies, report Russian traitors within their midst, and (one way or another) combat misinformation.

A verification of Clearview’s claims has finally arrived. And that only confirms a third of the facial recognition technology company’s claims. And it may be generous to call it “a third”. (h/t Michael Vario)

Ukraine is using facial recognition software to identify the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in action and to trace their families to notify them of their deaths, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister told Reuters.

The reality is far more compassionate than the self-serving Clearview press release that was reported without skepticism by Reuters. Clearview said its AI would be used to identify Russian soldiers, giving the impression that this would lead to retaliatory acts by Ukrainian fighters. Instead, the government is using AI in the best possible way: to identify soldiers sent for Vladimir Putin’s mad dash so their families can properly mourn their fallen and (hopefully) direct their anger at the government. shit who determined that this sacrifice was necessary. .

Don’t get me wrong: Clearview is still super shitty. That he temporarily dressed in yellow and blue doesn’t change that. Clearview could have offered his AI to a number of war-torn nations, but did nothing until he found a socially acceptable battlefield that involved mostly white combatants before committing his dormant largesse. . Like any other facial recognition AI, the software works best when it has white male faces to work with and this battle between Ukraine and Russia is loaded with the kind of faces this technology is designed to handle.

At least this effort could produce better estimates of Ukraine’s death toll. The Russian government has not updated its toll on the war in Ukraine since March 2. At that time he claimed to have lost only 498 soldiers. Ukrainian government estimates put the number of dead Russian soldiers somewhere north of 15,000.

Ukraine – although invaded by a megalomaniac despot – continues to retain its humanity. He has created an online portal that Russian families can use to search for information about relatives involved in this war. Using this portal, Russians can claim the bodies of dead fighters, which the Ukrainian government seems to believe is the least it can do when attacked by a former KGB shitlord who doesn’t understand why non-Russian countries would resist his brutality. , missile openings.

The downside here is that while the intent may be pure, the technology is imperfect.

Richard Bassed, head of the department of forensics at Monash University in Australia, said fingerprints, dental records and DNA remain the most common ways to confirm a person’s identity.

[…]

But veiled eyes and wounded, expressionless faces potentially make facial recognition unreliable on the dead, said Bassed, who has researched the technology.

But the effort continues. The Ukrainian government has been far more compassionate and aware of the limitations of technology than its temporary benefactor. The fact that the Ukrainian government chose to use Clearview’s AI to reunite Russians with their deceased loved ones reflects only one side: the Ukrainian government. Clearview never even suggested that option as he was busy blowing his own horn last week. Clearview is still garbage. That a single entity chose to use it for good doesn’t change anything.

Filed Under: facial recognition, russia, soldiers, ukraine

Companies: clearview, clearview ai

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