I don’t understand this irrational fear of facial recognition technology that has gripped certain members of the Portland City Council (such as Pious Ali and Brian Batson). They say the technology has glitches and because those glitches makes it less effective at recognizing members of the minority community, the technology should be banned from use in Portland.

Can you imagine where we would be if decades ago we had told the Microsoft Corp. that their Windows 3.1 software had glitches so people could not use it until it was perfect? Only after years of use and customer feedback are glitches identified and then fixed. Just look at the newest version of Windows 10.

What is baffling is that facial recognition software is an effective crime-fighting tool and, as history shows us, minority communities are disproportionately afflicted by crime.

One of the most insidious crimes affecting minorities today is human trafficking. Facial recognition software has evolved to the point where it is becoming more effective at recognizing abducted children, even years after their pictured was first submitted to police. So this irrational phobia against a technology that could help minorities makes no sense to me.

Ted Sirois


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