Axon increases AI Ethics Board diversity with three new members

Axon increases AI Ethics Board diversity with three new members

Axon has expanded its AI Ethics Board with the appointment of three new members to help guide its use of facial recognition and other AI-powered technologies in development by the company.

Dr. Wael Abd-Almageed, Danielle Citron and Chris Harris have joined the board, bringing experience with a range of research bodies and ethics and civil rights groups. Between them, they increase the representation of women and minorities on the board.

The board has published two reports so far, one of which recommended not integrating facial biometrics with body cameras. The company pledged to honor that recommendation last June. CBP has subsequently sought guidance on the deploying facial recognition to body cameras for incident recording.

Dr. Abd-Almageed is a Research Associate Professor and research team leader at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, with research interests including debiasing and fair representation, visual misinformation such as deepfakes, and biometrics. He has led research efforts for NSF, DARPA, and IARPA programs, and has two patents and more than 70 publications in leading computer vision and high-performance computing conferences and journals.

Citron is a Law Professor at the Boston University School of Law, teaching about information privacy, free expression, and civil rights. A 2019 MacArthur Fellow, she is Vice President of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, participates in other privacy groups, and has advised federal and state legislators, law enforcement and international bodies on privacy.

Harris is Campaign Coordinator for public interest non-profit Texas Appleseed, which promotes social and economic justice for Texans, and Public Safety Commissioner for City of Austin District 1. He has led and participated in campaigns to limit racial disparities in the criminal justice system, state violence, unnecessary arrests, ICE detentions, pre-trial incarceration, subpar indigent defense and investments in police and prisons, and also has professional experience in the software industry.

“Our new AI Ethics Board members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience including privacy, social justice, and some of the most directly relevant core science and applied machine learning topics such as deepfake and image manipulation detection. I’m so grateful to have their advice and perspective, and am excited to be adding their diverse viewpoints and expertise to the Board,” says Axon Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Software Jeff Kunins. “We’re committed to being transparent and responsible in how we develop and use AI and related technologies in our products for public safety, and our AI Ethics Board plays an important role in guiding our work.”

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