Clearview AI is close to patenting despite intense controversy – archyde

Clearview AI has received the go-ahead to secure a federal patent for its facial recognition software. like from Politico. reported. The US Patent and Trademark Office sent Clearview a “notice of approval” on December 1 stating that the patent would be granted once the organization pays the necessary administrative fees. The patent will cover, among other things, its method of retrieving information, specifically its “automated web crawler tool” that scans social networking sites and the Internet.

“There are other patents for facial recognition – these are methods for doing so – but this is the first one that concerns the use of large amounts of Internet data,” Ton-That, the founder of Clearview AI, told Politico in an interview. Clearview AI has more than 10 billion photos in its database, which Ton-That has confirmed, much more than its previous estimate of 3 billion images. Currently the UK, Australia and France have officially advised Clearview to stop collecting information on their citizens and to remove any existing data.

How did it all start?

Clearview AI was founded by Hoan Ton-That, an Australian entrepreneur, and Richard Schwartz, who previously worked with New York mayors such as Rudy Giuliani. Ton-That first came to San Francisco in 2007 to join the growing social media application development market. In 2009, he created a website that enabled people to share videos with their contacts using instant messengers. However, he shut down this website after it was labeled a “phishing scam”. He then developed an app called “Trump Hair“In 2015, which allowed people to apply Donald Trump’s iconic hair to their pictures. None of his ventures turned out to be a great success as he had imagined.

Ton-That met Schwartz in 2016 at a book event at the Manhattan Institute. They soon decided to get into the facial recognition business together, where Ton-That would develop the application and Schwartz would use his political clout to generate commercial interest. In 2016, Hoan hired two engineers. One was hired to develop a tool to collect images of faces from the internet and various social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn all sent warnings to Clearview AI in 2020. The other engineer perfected the face recognition algorithm. Ton-That described the finally developed system as “state-of-the-art neural network. “It has an accuracy of 98.6% and gives results 30-60% of the time. Schwartz paid server fees and other expenses during this time and used his contacts to arouse the interest of the authorities. The company initially started under the name Smartcheckr in late 2017, but soon changed it to Clearview.

The effects of Clearview AI

Based on a leaked list of Buzzfeed, over 1,800 law enforcement agencies have used Clearview’s facial recognition technology. These include the FBI, Homeland Security, and Canadian law enforcement officials, according to the company and government officials. Multiple sources reported in February 2020 that Clearview AI faced a data breach that its customers revealed. Clearview had previously stated that it would only allow law enforcement access, but the data breach revealed that the startup had sold its software to certain private organizations.

The company also raised $ 30 million for its Series B funding in July 2021, despite being the target of several lawsuits and a joint investigation by the UK and Australia. The approval of the patent for their facial recognition software will make them even more defiant outside pressure and continue to aggressively scratch images to enlarge their database. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in people voluntarily making their data available for public use for the common good, but companies like Clearview AI can commercialize this quickly.

The future

The grant of the patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will place Clearview AI in an ideal position to become the primary facial recognition software used by all U.S. law enforcement agencies. The cease and desist statements from major tech companies designed to prevent Clearview from scraping images off their websites have had no effect and are unlikely to have any effect in the future. In short, Clearview AI is becoming more and more likely to persist and it is imperative to bring this facial recognition software to the attention of everyone who uses the internet. It also sets a dangerous precedent for all future AIs.

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