Famed footballer cuts ties with Huawei over AI ‘Uighur alert’

Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has ended his sponsorship cope with Huawei over the Chinese language tech big’s reported testing of a facial recognition system that may detect members of the persecuted Uighur ethnic group.

The France and Barcelona ahead defined his resolution in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“Following strong suspicions that Huawei has contributed to the development of a ‘Uighur alert’ thanks to facial recognition software, I am announcing the immediate termination of my partnership with the company,” the World Cup winner advised his 31.5 million followers.

“I take this opportunity to invite Huawei to not just deny these accusations, but to take concrete actions as quickly as possible to condemn this mass repression, and to use its influence to contribute to the respect of human and women’s rights in society.”

[Learn: Why AI is the future of home security]

Griezmann’s announcement follows media reviews that Huawei had labored with facial recognition agency Megvii to check and validate ‘Uighur alarms’ that might doubtlessly alert police.

Video surveillance researchers from IVPM mentioned they’d a Huawei “interoperability report” that confirmed the corporate had given the Uighur recognition system its seal of approval.

“The report lists dozens of ‘basic functions of Megvii’s facial recognition system’ that Huawei ‘verified,’ together with ‘Uighur alert,’ which Megvii ‘handed,’” the IPVM group wrote in a blog post. “In a separate box, the report stated that Megvii’s software also “passed” having the ability to decide ‘ethnicity‘ as a part of its ‘face attribute evaluation.’”

The doc didn’t reveal whether or not the software program has been deployed. Huawei advised IPVM that the report described “simply a test and it has not seen real-world application.”

The corporate additionally launched a statement saying it was “saddened” by Griezmann’s resolution. It added that “the language used in the document” was “completely unacceptable” and “descriptions of functions provided by the company Megvii” relatively than Huawei’s personal language.

Griezmann’s announcement nonetheless caps a depressing 12 months for the embattled telecoms and smartphone agency, which has been hit onerous by a collection of product and 5G bans over considerations about its relationship with the Chinese language authorities.

However for footballers, 2020 can be remembered as a 12 months wherein they used their standing to struggle for social change, from campaigning to tackle child food poverty and racial injustice to protesting high-tech surveillance.

Printed December 11, 2020 — 12:33 UTC

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *