Axon (formerly TASER International), which makes Taser electroshock weapons body cameras, launched an artificial intelligence ethics board for public safety to guide the development of AI-powered services. The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, but has already been met with backlash and controversy.
Axon made $343 million last year. [MORE]
More than 40 civil rights, technology, media and privacy groups have voiced their concerns about the police body cameras in a letter to the AI Ethics Board, which includes groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP.
“Axon has a responsibility to ensure that its present and future products, including AI-based products, don’t drive unfair or unethical outcomes or amplify racial inequities in policing,” the letter reads.
The letter also notes concerns around the accuracy of the facial recognition technology and the ethics of the technology’s use with police body cameras. The letter written by naive statists states,
"Because Axon’s products are marketed and sold to law enforcement, they sometimes make these problems worse. For example, Axon’s body-worn camera systems, which should serve as transparency tools, are now being reduced to powerful surveillance tools that are concentrated in heavily policed communities.
Axon has a responsibility to ensure that its present and future products, including AI-based products, don’t drive unfair or unethical outcomes or amplify racial inequities in policing. Axon acknowledges this responsibility—the company states that it “fully recognize[s] the complexities and sensitivities around technology in law enforcement, and [is] committed to getting it right.”
Axon’s AI Ethics Board meeting “will set guidelines for developing AI technology,” according to Axon, which is the largest seller of police body cameras, according to the Washington Post. The board is made up of eight members from computer science, policing, ethics, privacy and law enforcement backgrounds.