Microsoft Urges Congress To Regulate Facial Recognition Technology : NPR

Reading The Game: Donut County : NPR

Microsoft Urges Congress To Regulate Facial Recognition Technology : NPR

In a coarse yr for tech, Microsoft unseated Apple as essentially the most precious corporate. It’s cultivated a picture as Silicon Valley’s elder statesman, urging law for applied sciences it is nonetheless creating.


You do not most often in finding firms soliciting for law at the generation that they are creating, however Microsoft is doing simply that. The corporate needs Congress to put in writing regulations for its facial popularity generation in 2019. Microsoft is positioning itself as an outspoken elder statesman whilst nonetheless looking to beat its competition. NPR’s Alina Selyukh experiences.

ALINA SELYUKH, BYLINE: For Silicon Valley, this has been a bothered yr.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: The marketplace’s down, and Apple’s a large explanation why.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: It’s a wave of walkouts at Google workplaces around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #three: Facebook simply had what could be the most important wipeout in inventory marketplace historical past.

SELYUKH: And in the course of all of it, this took place.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #four: Microsoft surpassed Apple.

SELYUKH: Microsoft has now a number of instances unseated Apple as the arena’s Most worthy corporate – a designation Microsoft closing occupied within the early 2000s. Part of Microsoft’s secure upward thrust within the fresh years has to do with fending off crises. The corporate has been cultivating a picture as Silicon Valley’s ethical compass. It does trade with the federal government whilst additionally suing the federal government. It income from arguable new applied sciences whilst additionally urging law. Here is Microsoft president Brad Smith talking nowadays on the Brookings Institution.


BRAD SMITH: We have grew to become down offers as a result of we concern that the generation could be utilized in ways in which would in fact put folks’s rights in peril. You do not wish to see the race run via some people who find themselves taking the prime street whilst others who might simply now not be pondering sufficient about those problems.

SELYUKH: We must notice, Microsoft is one in all NPR’s sponsors. For a very long time, Microsoft used to be seen as a stodgy corporate. After years of suffering with its identification, it is getting into its personal, discovering its position a number of the more recent tech stars like Google and Amazon. Technologically, Microsoft made up our minds to guess on information saved at the cloud, and cloud computing is paying off large.

ANDREW HUNTER: They have made an amazing quantity of development within the closing two to a few years of in point of fact bringing their product up on par with what Amazon has been providing. And Amazon has been the marketplace chief so much within the cloud computing house.

SELYUKH: Andrew Hunter is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies the place he follows govt contracts. Now, a lot of the federal government already runs on Windows and Office, however now it is a race to position govt information at the cloud and to promote the federal government fashionable applied sciences, together with to the Defense Department.

HUNTER: Their profile inside the marketplace has in point of fact risen within the closing couple years.

SELYUKH: In Silicon Valley, this type of paintings took on new controversy this yr. Amazon confronted an outcry for giving its facial popularity generation to legislation enforcement, elevating issues about surveillance. Google canceled a freelance with the Pentagon after workers protested that their synthetic intelligence might be used for drone moves. At Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella additionally needed to quell dissent over the corporate’s merchandise being utilized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. At the similar time, Microsoft signed a deal value nearly part a thousand million bucks with the U.S. Army. It will equip infantrymen with augmented fact headsets. Again, Microsoft is attempting to stroll the center line. Here’s Brad Smith talking closing week at a protection convention.


SMITH: For us, we now have been transparent. We are going to give you the U.S. army with get entry to to the most productive generation, to all of the generation we create – complete forestall.

SELYUKH: But then he provides Microsoft may also be actively fascinated about surroundings barriers for this generation, particularly synthetic intelligence and self sustaining guns. In nowadays’s speech, Smith did simply that, laying out a plan to control facial popularity. He says, if we wait whilst generation spreads, we might be on our solution to Big Brother dystopia. Alina Selyukh, NPR News.

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