The U.S. Air Force is considering making its airfields more secure with the help of face recognition start-up Clearview AI.
The Air Force Research Laboratory awarded Clearview $ 49,847 for research on augmented reality glasses that could scan people’s faces to help protect them on a base.
Brian Ripple, who works for the lab, described a three-month study to find out the “scientific and technical suitability and potential” of using such glasses for facial recognition.
Mr. Ripple said Thursday.
In other words, the lab is paying for the glasses to be developed, but it is not buying them yet. Mr. Ripple titled “One-page overview from the company,” entitled “Clearview AI: Augmented Reality Glasses to Secure Base and Flightline.” Flyer said the product “saves lives,” “saves time” and “improves health” by increasing social distance and keeping officers’ hands free to hold their weapons.
New York-based Clearview AI is the target of international investigations and lawsuits as it scraps billions of photos from the public Internet to create a face recognition tool used by law enforcement. Hundreds of federal agencies and local police departments have used the Clearview technology.
The company describes its software as ideal for post-crime investigations and not for monitoring, but has experimented with real-time facial recognition.
In January 2020, The Times technologist found a code in the company’s app that indicated it could be paired with augmented reality glasses. At the time, Clearview AI chief executive Hoan Ton-That agreed to design the prototype but said the company had no plans to release it.
Mr. Ton-he said in a statement after the contract went public. “Once realized, we believe this technology will be an excellent fit for numerous security situations.”
Last month Mr. Ton-Thatte said in a public letter that his company would not use its technology “in real-time”, but that wearing glasses with technology for face recognition seemed appropriate to the bill.
In a phone call, Mr. Ton-he says Clearview’s database of 10 billion photos will “not be used for any real-time surveillance” and any augmented reality glasses rely on “limited data sets” instead – for example, pending warrants, missing children or Interested persons. “
The Air Force contract was signed in November, but was only announced on Thursday. It was first published on Twitter By Jack Paulson, Executive Director of Tech Inquiry, a nonprofit that monitors government procurement of surveillance technology.
The Air Force previously awarded ્યૂ 50,000 to Clearview AI in December 2019 for research and development. BuzzFeed News previously reported that the Air Force was one of several departments in federal agencies that conducted trials with the company’s facial recognition software.