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Why does the European Commission want a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies in public spaces? What are its implications on the use of artificial intelligence? Discuss.

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. Why does the European Commission want a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies in public spaces? What are its implications on the use of artificial intelligence? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

Recently, European media network EURACTIV and Politico published a story that said the European Commission is mulling a temporary ban (of up to five years) on the use of facial recognition technologies in public spaces. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the implications of such decisions and its effect on the use of AI as a technology.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what facial recognition is.

Body:

Explain the current case – Two big tech companies — Alphabet and Microsoft — have taken completely different positions on the idea. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is backing it while Microsoft President Brad Smith is not. This comes even as facial recognition technologies are being increasingly adopted by individuals, organizations, and governments. Then move onto explain why does the European Commission want a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies? Discuss – how is facial recognition used in today’s world? When is it problematic?

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way ahead; point out to a middle path to address such concerns at the same time ensuring that the benefits of the technology are not forgone.