Ukraine is using Clearview A.I. facial recognition in war wreckages across the country to help identify both the living and the dead
In early March, Clearview A.I. founder, Hoan Ton-That, started reaching out to people who could help him present his technology to the Ukrainian government.
Clearview holds a huge database of scraped photos from multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The facial recognition company is already being used extensively in the U.S.
According to Ton-That, the Russian invasion presented another implementation for the technology.
“We saw images of people who were prisoners of war and fleeing situations,” Mr Ton-That says
“It got us thinking that this could potentially be a technology that could be useful for identification, and also verification.”
Clearview A.I. founder, Hoan Ton-That
Last month, Ukrainian defence authorities began using facial recognition technology. The New York-based company offered the technology for free.
Just over a month ago, Clearview faced several legal actions from Italy, UK and France.
The company also has a line of legal challenges from Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter.
The tech giants have sent letters to Clearview to ask them to stop using pictures from their sites.
Mr Ton-That says there is debate over the legal aspects of facial recognition technology but assures his company works within the boundaries of the law.
Unlike the other situations, in Ukraine Clearview is being used to uncover the Russian assailant and to identify dead Ukrainian citizens.
It is also helping in identifying the Russian soldiers through their social media.
Risk of imprecision
Critics of facial recognition worry that the technology might pose greater threats if induced in a war.
The A.I. technology does not have a 100% accuracy rate and has faced several issues of not responding well to people of colour.
Also, Clearview is not only being used to identify the dead. It is also being used at the Ukrainian defence check posts to prevent Russian assailants to enter. Hence, its use during wartime can result disastrously.
Shreya Vats contributed to this report