CTRL ALT DEL? Regulating Automated Facial Recognition


17 March 2020, 6.00 PM - 17 March 2020, 7.30 PM

Andrew Charlesworth

Reception Room University of Bristol Law School, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ

PLEASE NOTE: This event has been cancelled. The lecture will be held at a later date, to be confirmed.
Andrew Charlesworth Inaugural Lecture

Andrew would like to invite you to his inaugural lecture on Tuesday 17th March 2020. The lecture celebrates his appointment as Professor of Law, Innovation & Society at the University of Bristol Law School in 2018.

CTRL ALT DEL? Rhetoric, Regulation & Automated Facial Recognition explores the difficulties in developing a balanced and reasoned case for effective regulation of a contentious technology.

When it comes to discussion of the future use of AFR, campaigning groups and academic commentators often take a deeply dystopian line, focusing on speculative abuses rather than on positive developments.

As the media seek out ‘quotable quotes’ from a limited range of campaigners and pundits, the public focus on partisan polemic conceals a failure on the part of politicians and policymakers to canvass critical thinking on achieving social benefits from AFR, as well as restricting the possibility of its abuse.

If the legal and regulatory debate is allowed to become unnecessarily polarised with use of misleading rhetoric, cherrypicked ‘evidence’ and unsupported assertions, then opportunities for constructive discussion are likely to be lost in the noise.

Ultimately, using AFR appropriately will require: balanced assessment of its social costs and benefits in particular use cases; constructive knowledge of pre-existing problematics that it may exacerbate or embed; thoughtful incorporation of fair, accountable and transparent processes in design and practice; and a genuine willingness to explore all the options in the ‘regulatory toolkit’.

A drinks reception will follow the lecture.

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