Police Body Cams and Smart Weapons Will Soon Have Facial Recognition
Forgot your drivers’ license? Or maybe you don’t carry your I.D. with you? That might not matter for much longer. Your state-issued identification could quickly become obsolete because police body cams could soon come equipped with facial recognition software.
Motorolla teamed up with an artificial intelligence software company called Neurala to implement facial recognition software into their devices. Founded by Massimiliano Versace, Neurala’s intelligence software mimics “thinking” but requires less coding and processing. So it can do the work of a large computer but in a compact size– making it perfect to mount on police body cams and smart weapons.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) bankrolled Versace’s research as part of a program called SyNAPSE. The goal of SyNAPSE was to build a microprocessor equipped with artificial intelligence that can mimic the brain of mammals. The software’s “incremental learning” strategy means the computer is less likely to become overloaded and forget things.
Motorolla supplies police departments with a variety of communication devices: pagers, intelligence software, cameras, etc. But they aren’t the only company looking to get their hands on this mammal-mimicking facial recognition software. Axon (formerly Taser) has their eyes on the software for developing a new generation of “smart weapons.” Axon’s smart weapons already trigger a police body cam to turn on as they draw their weapon.
It’s unclear what kind of role this facial recognition software would play on smart weapons at this point. Would it pull faces from a mugshot data base and alert the user? Or would it just fire on its own? There’s a lot of ethical questions here. But unfortunately, the current strategy is to implement first and work out problems later. So we’re probably going to see a lot of unprecedented problems soon.
Paul Steinberg, Chief Technology Officer of Motorola Solutions, promises that this technology will increase safety. He explains that the facial recognition on police body cams could help locate missing children, cars, or bikes.