Children’s Images from Flickr Used to Train AI

Flickr is a photo sharing platform that is highly popular among a lot of people, but a recent report came out that cast a shadow over the reputation of this once beloved platform. It turns out that Yahoo used hundreds of thousands of images from the platform and uploaded them onto a database, and the truly chilling aspect of this report (revealed by NYT) is that pictures were pulled from this database to train AI in facial recognition software.

It should be noted that the pictures used by these platforms were uploaded under creative commons which means that those pictures that were uploaded purely for private use were not tapped, but the fact of the matter is that many of the pictures used in this AI training were that of children, something that should definitely have been taken into account.

The latest AI that was trained using these pictures is called MegaFace, and it is basically attempting to improve facial recognition software. However, another AI that was trained using images in this manner is SenseTime, a software with a distinctly inappropriate purpose.

What makes this usage of photos such a breach of trust is the fact that Yahoo did not ask users before using their photos, nor did they inform users after the development. This is most certainly indicative of the fact that Yahoo did not care about its own userbase enough, something that might just make it difficult for a lot of people to be able to place any significant amount of trust in the company. Yahoo has been seeing flagging popularity in recent times, and it seems like this might just end up being the final nail in the coffin.

Children’s Images from Flickr Used to Train Artificial intelligence
Photos: Unsplash

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