Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Learned-Miller to Give Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Regulating Face Recognition Technology

Erik Learned-Miller
Erik Learned-Miller

Professor Erik Learned-Miller of the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) will give one of the university’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series talks on November 15 at 4:00 p.m. His lecture will present a regulatory path to managing the trade-offs between the risks and benefits of face recognition technologies.

Over the past few years, face recognition technology has become widely used, with broad societal impacts that include a host of problems, from insulting classifications to false arrests and violations of privacy.

In this lecture, Learned-Miller will propose establishing a federal regulatory agency, much like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that must approve the use of any face recognition application. He will look at the FDA’s successful management of both pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and propose the model as a solution for the regulation of face recognition technologies.

The lecture follows a white paper, “Facial Recognition Technologies in the Wild: A Call for a Federal Office,” that Learned-Miller wrote in collaboration with Joy Buolamwini of MIT's Media Lab and the Algorithmic Justice League, computer scientist Vicente Ordonez of the University of Virginia, and Jamie Morgenstern of the University of Washington. In the paper, the researchers provided actionable recommendations for establishing safety limits and guidelines for facial recognition technologies, categorizing them by degrees of risk and providing corresponding controls.

Established in 1974, the annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series aims to acknowledge the work of the most esteemed and accomplished faculty members at UMass Amherst. Each honoree is presented with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest recognition bestowed upon faculty by the campus, at the conclusion of their lecture. The lecture is free and open to the public. Event registration details will be released prior to the event.

A longtime leader in computational face recognition research, Learned-Miller serves as co-director of the Computer Vision Lab at CICS, where he has taught since 2004. In 2019, he received the Mark Everingham Award for contributions to the computer vision community for his development of the Labeled Faces in the Wild database.