Google has pledged to keep its facial recognition products free until there are enough policies to prevent abuse of the technology, which is inline with its commitments to responsible development of AI (artificial intelligence).
The same principles will guide what types of features they build, as the facial recognition technology can be beneficial in areas like helping to find a missing person, for instance it could allow to compare photo of a person to a database for identification, Google is exploring ways to identify even more capabilities around the technology.
But like related technologies, facial recognition offer functions which deserves careful evaluation to ensure its use aligns with these principles and values, to avoid harmful outcomes.
Google's resolve to desist from the commercialization of its facial recognition technology may be as a result of backlash on how other vendors of the technology such as Microsoft is engaging in relationship with government agencies which employees are concerned it could involve the use of the technology.
The company promises to work with other organizations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike Microsoft, Google has chosen not to create facial recognition APIs on its Cloud until it works out some important policy questions.
It also hope to bring leading academics from the Association of Pacific Rim Universities together to research on application of AI for social good, with governance frameworks to guide responsible development of AI, and the network will serve as a forum for researchers to discuss issues with government, and the private sector.