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Paravision and Persona launch facial age estimation tech with a focus on ethics

Paravision and Persona launch facial age estimation tech with a focus on ethics

A new age estimation and verification tool is on the market, care of Persona and Paravision. The partners have teamed up to leverage AI in the quest to humanize digital identity and set ethical standards for developers. A company release says that the face biometrics product is designed with ethics in mind, trained on a diverse data set and audited to detect and mitigate bias – calling it an industry first for age estimation.

“The need for reliable, responsible age estimation technology has never been more pressing, particularly in light of the growing concerns around children’s online presence as well as leveraging ethical approaches to AI,” says Joey Pritikin, chief product officer for Paravision. “We are thrilled to be working with Persona to launch a solution that will help ensure the safety and well-being of children and teenagers online, while meeting rigorous ethical standards.”

The emphasis on ethics is in part a response to recent legislative moves to control what kids can and can’t see online. The release points to the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act in the U.S. and quotes the UK’s Online Safety Act’s specific mention of “age verification or age estimation (or both) to prevent children of any age from encountering primary priority content that is harmful to children which the provider identifies on the service.”

In addition to established concerns about pornography, social media and luring, there is now also the impact of AI to consider. Here, too, the law is prompting new exigencies for facial age verification technology, with President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Order on AI being among the most visible examples.

‘It is encouraging to see lawmakers pushing platforms, and therefore their identity solution providers, towards greater innovation and responsibility, says Persona Head of Identity Products Daniel Lee. “The mandate is clear: we must balance the delivery of high-assurance, unbiased solutions with safeguarding end user privacy.”

Persona and Paravision’s new offering aims to achieve that balance, providing efficiency and agility in a fast-changing market. Age estimation of selfie biometrics can eliminate the need for government-issued ID checks, depending on how old one is estimated to be. (Presumably, greybeards will no longer need to prove the legitimacy of their decline.) The granular data retention and redaction policies applied to Persona’s real-time dynamic verification flow mean seamless experiences need not come at the expense of data privacy. Furthermore, demonstrated compliance and ethical data stewardship make firms less likely to come under scrutiny from regulators, as the world races to keep up with technology that is evolving by the day.

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