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The Race to Build Facial Recognition Tech for Africa Is Being Led by This Award-Winning Engineer

Audrey Donkor (F13) explores the racial disparity in facial recognition tech, in a piece for Quartz Africa.

Facial recognition technology is not widely employed in Africa, partly because the technology available up till now has not been adept at identifying and differentiating the faces of Black people. US government tests of the best Western-developed facial recognition systems have shown them to misidentify Black people at rates up to five to 10 times higher than they do white people.

The racial disparity in the performance of the biometric artificial intelligence technology which forms the backbone of these systems stemmed from an obvious problem: they are trained by using datasets mostly made up of white faces.

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