🎧 Face Value (IRL)

Listened IRL Podcast Episode 10: Face Value from irlpodcast.org
From Snapchat filters to Apple’s Face ID, biometric technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives. What do we actually give up when we upload our face to these apps? Steven Talley shares his experience as a victim of mistaken identity. Joseph Atick, a forefather of facial recognition technology, reckons with its future. We head to to China, where biometric data is part of buying toilet paper. And artist Adam Harvey investigates how racial bias seeps into big data sets.
In this episode of the IRL Podcast, Veronica Belmont leads a conversation about mistaken identity, the Art and Culture selfie and increase in the collection of biometric data in China.

Glynnis MacNicol questions what we are giving up in using our face to log-in to our phone or sharing online. He suggests that we should become face-less:

Everyone get your faces offline. Yes, I can’t … What evidence is there that this is a good idea? I mean, really? Is there literally any evidence that this is going to benefit us? Let me ask you, why would you post a selfie?

That has me again thinking about the use of such platforms as Facebook and Instagram to share school-based images.

For Adam Harvey, it comes back to race:

I tell people that facial recognition is really racial recognition, plus some additional metadata.

In an article in the New Yorker, Joy Buolamwini suggests that this is a coded gaze:

Just as the male gaze sees the world on its own terms, as a place made for men’s pleasure, the coded gaze sees everything according to the data sets on which its creators trained it.

This is very much a part of the discussion of ethics in the new machine age.

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