Technology Isn’t Perfect

The San Francisco Chronicle posted an article today about facial recognition technology. The technology was developed by Amazon.

The article reports:

San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting has never been arrested, but facial recognition technology developed by Amazon links his image to a jailhouse mugshot.

Ting is one of 26 state legislators who were wrongly identified as suspected criminals using the technology, according to results of a test released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Matt Cagle, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the ACLU, said the organization ran its experiment using Amazon’s Rekognition software and screened 120 lawmakers’ images against a database of 25,000 mugshots.

The article concludes:

More than half the 26 California lawmakers who were falsely identified in the ACLU’s experiment are people of color, Ting’s office said. Ting said that makes the technology especially dangerous for African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans.

“This could lead to more false arrests in those particular communities,” he said.

Last year, the ACLU ran a similar experiment using images of members of Congress. It found that Amazon’s program incorrectly matched 28 of them with suspected criminals.

I realize that this technology may have some usefulness after it is improved, but there is an important fact that needs to be acknowledged here.  In America a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. I am afraid that the use of this technology might shortchange that process. It might be used to recognize a criminal, but I question how it would be used in a court of law.

A Rare Moment Of Truth In The Democrat Debates

The Daily Caller posted an article today about remarks made by Democratic Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard regarding Senator Kamala Harris of California during the Democrat debate on Wednesday.

The article notes:

Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was among the first to land a solid blow on presidential primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), but she may not have taken her attack far enough.

“She put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said of Harris’s time as a prosecutor and District Attorney of San Francisco.

But as Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle discovered as he fact-checked Gabbard’s claim, the number of people Harris sent to jail for marijuana violations was actually closer to 2000.

Garofoli noted that an initial report published by the Washington Free Beacon had put the number at 1560, but that a spokesman for California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had told him the actual number was 1974.

It’s an interesting attack. First of all, Kamala Harris was doing her job as District Attorney of San Francisco. Admittedly, her priorities might have been a little off, but she was essentially doing her job. The really sad part of the story is that she is so arrogant that she laughed about putting people in jail for something she herself had done. Some of our politicians have made a career out of ‘one rule for me and another rule for thee.’ That is the sad part of the story.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal Weighs In On The Presidential Election

The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an editorial yesterday strongly criticizing President Obama for his handling of the Benghazi attack when it happened and his lying about it afterward.

In addition to criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, the editorial reminds us:

This administration is an embarrassment on foreign policy and incompetent at best on the economy – though a more careful analysis shows what can only be a perverse and willful attempt to destroy our prosperity. Back in January 2008, Barack Obama told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle that under his cap-and-trade plan, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” He added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” It was also in 2008 that Mr. Obama’s future Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, famously said it would be necessary to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – $9 a gallon.

The article concludes:

Candidate Obama said if he couldn’t fix the economy in four years, his would be a one-term presidency.

Mitt Romney is moral, capable and responsible man. Just this once, it’s time to hold Barack Obama to his word. Maybe we can all do something about that, come Tuesday.

I know Halloween is over, but I can’t think of a worse nightmare than four more years of President Obama.

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