Image-rec startup for cops, Feds can probably identify you from 3 billion pics it's scraped from Facebook, YouTube etc | 1/20/2020 | Staff
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Roundup Here's a roundup of news beyond what we've covered already in the world of machine-learning.

Huge facial-recognition database scrutinized: An AI startup called Clearview claims to have a database of more than three billion photos, scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo, and other websites and services, and all used to train a massive facial-recognition system.

Access - Technology - FBI - Cops - Officers

Access to the technology is sold to the FBI and cops. Officers or agents can submit a picture of a person, and Clearview will attempt to identify them from its database, complete with links to relevant profiles and pages. Investigators have, it is reported, used Clearview to catch criminals from gym selfies and similar snaps.

Clearview says it's using publicly shared photos, and thus isn't doing anything wrong. The biz received funding from Facebook board member and zillionaire Peter Thiel, we note. Facebook is said to be double checking the startup's usage of its social network.

Dive - Image-recognition - Tech - New - York

You can read a deep dive into this image-recognition tech, by the New York Times, here. When the newspaper's reporter fed her pictures into the system to test it, Clearview contacted its police users to ask if they were talking to the media, it is reported, suggesting the outfit has some kind filter and alert system for journalists, at least.

There is the fear that this kind of technology effectively kills privacy dead: it is virtually impossible to be anonymous now.

Apple - AI - Startup - Apple - AI

Apple snaps up AI startup for $200m: Apple has splashed out on a shiny new AI startup,, for $200m in a bid to cram machine learning tools in its future iPhones and other hardware.

The Seattle-based outfit emerged as a spin-off from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence – a lab known as AI2 founded by the now-late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. Led by Ali Farhidi, co-founder and CXO (chief xnor officer, groan),
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