Tech giant IBM is to stop offering facial recognition software for “mass surveillance or racial profiling”.
The announcement comes as the US faces calls for police reform following the killing of a black man, George Floyd.
In a letter to the US Congress, IBM said AI systems used in law enforcement needed testing “for bias”.
One campaigner said it was a “cynical” move from a firm that has been instrumental in creating technology for the police.
In his letter to Congress, IBM chief executive Arvind Krishna said the “fight against racism is as urgent as ever”, setting out three areas where the firm wanted to work with Congress: police reform, responsible use of technology, and broadening skills and educational opportunities.
“IBM firmly opposes and will not condone the uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms,” he wrote.
“We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies”.
Instead of relying on potentially biased facial recognition, the firm urged Congress to use