An article from the NYT Privacy Project on the The Racist History of Facial Recognition. Starting with early scientific facial analysis in the 19th century trying to locate through “pictorial statistics” the essence of the criminal face, and moving to 21st century forms of classification and surveillance which seem to echo the same problematic and racist ideologies.

“We’ve been here before. Much like the 19th-century technologies of photography and composite portraits lent “objectivity” to pseudoscientific physiognomy, today, computers and artificial intelligence supposedly distance facial analysis from human judgment and prejudice. In reality, algorithms that rely on a flawed understanding of expressions and emotions can just make prejudice more difficult to spot.“

By Sahil Chinoy

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