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Ukraine uses system to identify Russian dead

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Ukraine uses facial recognition technology to identify Russian soldiers who die on its territory, and it is complex software and a method that has not been used before in this field, and experts believe it poses problems.
kyiv authorities say they are using the details they obtain through this process to try to track down and notify the families of dead soldiers, which they say is aimed at violating Russia’s restrictions on the dissemination of information about the war. .

While this type of AI can bring comfort to bereaved families denied by the Kremlin’s secrecy, the potential for mistakes is high and the consequences are also significant.

“If you are the father of a Russian soldier and you are told that your son was killed while he was still alive, that presents a complex ethical dilemma,” says Jim Hendler, director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications at Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York.

US artificial intelligence company Clearview AI is often criticized by privacy guards for giving Ukrainian officials free access to its service that compares images taken from the Internet with images uploaded by users trying to identify someone.
“Ukrainian officials who gained access to Clearview AI are excited and we look forward to hearing more from them,” Hwan Tun That, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhailo Fedorov wrote on Wednesday that his country uses “artificial intelligence” to search social media for profiles of Russian soldiers using photos of their corpses and then inform their families and loved ones of their deaths, adding that One of the goals of the technology is to dispel the myth of the special operation that the Kremlin is fighting in Ukraine instead of describing its operations as a war.

Ukrainian authorities did not respond to requests for more information about Fedorov’s statement.

Known issues
The latest balance released by the Kremlin spoke of the death of just under 500 soldiers in the fighting, but no official balance has been published for weeks, while NATO officials estimate the number of Russian soldiers killed, wounded or missing or the that are no longer. they can no longer participate in battles, fighting up to 40,000.
Local Russian media published news about the killing of soldiers and the organization of funerals for them. Reports indicated that officials informed families of the location of their children’s fall, but without many details.
But facial recognition technology has faced a lot of unresolved skepticism, from intruding on people’s privacy to criticizing it for mistakes that can be made in identifying people with dark skin.
Experts also point out that facial recognition can present a particular problem when used to identify the dead, especially since the wounds inflicted on soldiers on the battlefield make them completely different from an image in which they appear smiling at different times. lighting conditions, as is the case during a wedding, for example. example.
“One of the most well-known problems with facial recognition technology is that it’s not perfect and it makes mistakes, and in some cases these misidentifications can have life-changing consequences,” says Eric Goldman, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at University from Santa Clara. the interested”.
He points out, however, that long after wars are over, many families remain without news of their children who went into battle and never returned, hence the potential benefit of such technology.

“We can imagine a circumstance where the ability to reduce the number of missing in war would be really beneficial,” he says, though facial recognition may not be the right solution, he says.

In a letter offering its services to the Ukrainian authorities, Clearview AI wrote that its technology could already be very useful since it is based on the use of images from public websites.

The company, which was fined 20 million euros by Italy earlier this month for its software, claimed that its database contains around two billion images from the VK platform, which is the equivalent of Facebook in Russia. and could help identify the dead unnecessarily. to obtain information such as fingerprints.

As for the ability to accurately identify the deceased, the company claimed that it works “effectively regardless of the injury to the face”, which it could not independently verify.


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