Ethics, Biometrics and AI: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Ethics, Biometrics and AI: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On the 31st of January 2023, our partner Emilio Mordini from NORIA Onlus gave a talk during a remote event organised by the European Association for Biometrics (EAB). The presentation was entitled « Ethics, Biometrics and AI: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly ».

EU AI act

The EU AI act has been proposed by the European Commission to regulate the use of AI at the EU level. It describes three AI risk categories: applications that create a unacceptable risk are banned, the high-risk applications are subject to specific legal requirements, and the other applications are not regulated.

In the category of « unacceptable risk » can be found the automatic recognition of individuals in public spaces and the use of private databases for facial recognition, because it often leads to discriminatory results. The use of AI for automated border control has been considered as « high-risk ».

AI limitations

According to Emilio Mordini, the main concerns of the Commission regarding the applications of Face Recognition Technologies are the potential ability of AI to recognise human intentions, thoughts and emotions, and thus to predict human behaviour.

Using a parallel with the famous movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he emphasizes the importance of timing in our human lives. AI may minimize chronological time to infinitesimal durations, but it cannot get out of it – this is due to the structure of AI and cannot be overcome by more advances technologies. In Emilio’s opinion, this limitation prevents AI from understanding and predicting human behavior.

Therefore, the concerns of the Commission regarding Face Recognition Technologies might be disproportionate, giving the AI some capability it will never have.

Emilio Mordini

Emilio is a M.D. and M.Phi. with motr than 40 years of pratice as a psychoanalyst. He pionnered international research on ethics of biometrics. He is an expert on psychological, societal, and ethical impact of emerging technologies. Within the NGO NORIA Onlus, he is responsible to monitor ethical aspects of the SOTERIA project and to advise the partners on the best practices to follow.

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