Our Data, Episode 1: Stanford CodeX Fellow Stephen Caines discusses Facial Recognition and AI

Our Data is a new podcast from the Blockchain Group, RegTrax, and the Tech4Good Project of Stanford’s CodeX Center for Legal Informatics, exploring the contours of the public’s interest in the landscape of emerging data based technologies.  As we talk to leading-edge thinkers and doers, we’ll focus on the often unasked questions that have material consequences for us all: What happens when these technologies are leveraged for unjust purposes? How do we govern systems that we don’t yet fully understand? How can we—and how should we—respond when things go wrong?

Our Data, Episode 1: Stanford CodeX Fellow Stephen Caines discusses Facial Recognition and AI

In our first episode, Our Data talks to Stephen Caines, residential fellow with Stanford’s CodeX Center for Legal Informatics. Stephen’s research concerns technology in the public sector, with a particular focus on facial recognition. To this end, he is attempting to develop standards and best practices to help governments, police forces, and other public agencies deploy facial recognition in a safe and ethical manner.

Facial recognition technology has been used to do a lot of good in our world, but factors such as algorithmic bias, mission creep, and a misunderstanding of the technology have also caused unforeseen problems. Over the course of our conversation, we’ll talk about the need to educate all stakeholders from members of the public all the way up to judges and law enforcement officers, discuss a few cases in which facial recognition wasn’t deployed responsibly, and try to find the positives in the ad-hoc way this technology is being used and regulated. As it currently stands, the genie is out of the metaphorical bottle—and with such huge implications for life and liberty, we ought to know exactly what this means for our society.

A transcript of the episode can be found here. As always, we welcome comments, questions, or critiques. Want to suggest a topic, a guest, or have other thoughts? Feel free to drop us a line via email, or join our Telegram group

Our Data releases new episodes every other Tuesday at 4PM PST.

Special thanks to Stephen Caines, CodeX Executive Director Roland Vogl, and the CodeX Blockchain Group Chairs, Tony Lai and Kushagra Shrivastava.


Stephen Caines: scaines@law.stanford.edu

Mike Schmitz: michael.schmitz@codex.stanford.edu

Reuben Youngblom: youngblom@stanford.edu