FB pixel

EAB seminar plays down EU parliament’s biometrics ethics concerns

But warns about risk from categorization technologies
EAB seminar plays down EU parliament’s biometrics ethics concerns

The European Union’s ethical concerns connected with deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and biometrics applications across its territory may be excessive.

The claims come from Emilio Mordini, an associate research fellow at the University of Haifa and Project Evaluator and Reviewer at the European Commission.

Speaking at an EAB session on Tuesday, Mordini first listed the prohibited AI practices contained in the upcoming AI Act, as well as the legislation’s applications that are deemed “high-risk.”

Public facial recognition and some other biometric systems are included in the current draft of the AI Act under this category, but some EU parliamentarians have since called for a revision to extend high-risk status to all systems receiving biometric data.

Mordini also suggests that while many in the EU parliament and the general public are concerned about facial recognition technology being used for surveillance and emotion recognition, he remains skeptical of doomsday scenarios connected with these tools.

In particular, Mordini mentions the “three gunmen problem,” as depicted in ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,’ intended as “a confrontation in which there is no rational strategy that allows either party to win.”

According to the philosophy professor and psychiatrist, such a ‘Mexican standoff’ can only be resolved with each player anticipating the move of the other two opponents before deciding on his own action. AI cannot solve this problem.

“Machines, including Al, only know chronological time, which refers to the measurable course of events,” Mordini says. “But what really matters in life is timing.”

In other words, the professor argues that this limitation prevents Al from understanding and predicting individual behavior.

“Consequently, the concerns of the European Parliament are probably excessive because they attribute to Al a capability it does not possess and, in my opinion, will never be able to develop,” Mordini adds.

“Of course, working with big data, Al could predict the behavior of groups of people reasonably well. My suggestion is, therefore, to pay much more political and ethical attention to processes of categorization rather than to the unlikely use of Al to ‘read the minds’ of individuals.”

In contrast, those biometric applications that are banned or currently considered high-risk are actually feasible.

The EAB webinar comes days after the European Digital Rights (EDRi) published a new guide about remote biometric identification and how to legally regulate these technologies.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Biometrics cutting the line of in-person payments innovations: Mastercard

Mastercard sees biometrics for in-store payments as a part of a broader shift towards seamless interactions of all kinds, as…


New South Wales’ government is investing millions in digital identity

New South Wales’ decentralized digital identity program is getting a cash infusion from the Premier Chris Minns’ government, which has…


Innovatrics cuts fingerprint error rate by 20%, upgrades SmartFace platform

Innovatrics has reported its best-yet scores in NIST’s fingerprint biometrics testing, and added a new feature to its facial recognition…


Canadian cruise terminal gets Pangiam face biometrics for ID verification

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have joined forces to implement face biometrics for…


Atlantic Council stresses importance of DPI, data for stronger digital economies

The Atlantic Council has highlighted the importance of digital identity and digital public infrastructure (DPI) in birthing and growing strong,…


Sri Lanka extends bid deadline for national digital ID project

The Government of Sri Lanka has extended the deadline for the submission of bids for the procurement of a Master…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events