Ukraine is using one of the most controversial US AI technologies to facilitate the war effort

Developed by an American company called Clearview, the facial recognition system based on artificial intelligence has been the subject of a package of laws published with “dedication” by the European authorities, regulating the use of artificial intelligence technologies in the 27 member states of the bloc.

A real treasure trove for any authoritarian government, the Clearview platform is based on a very comprehensive database, containing the faces of billions of people “harvested” from various parts of the world, making it easier for customers with deep pockets to do mass surveillance.

By first confirming that it is offering its services preferentially to the Ukrainian government and not to the opposing party, thus unequivocally serving the “forces of good”, the US developer has launched a facial recognition system connected to a huge database, containing over 10 billion photos with Russian citizens, of which 2 billion images were extracted by “brushing” local social media services, such as VKontakte.

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From a humanitarian point of view, the Clearview system is used to automatically identify captured or “collected” Russian soldiers on the battlefield, laying the groundwork for their repatriation to families, not just their country of origin.

Another goal, still perfectly legitimate, is the automatic identification of saboteurs, mercenaries and soldiers and potential mercenaries trying to infiltrate the general population, the system based on simple video cameras installed in strategic locations already having an important contribution.

Currently, the only comment provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is that “the decomposition and mutilation of corpses makes it considerably more difficult to use facial recognition technologies.” However, fingerprinting seems to work a little better.

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Another argument in favor of Clearview technologies is the connection of Ukrainian refugees with the family left behind, whether or not they are still alive.

While Clearview facial recognition technologies are being implemented in as many regions of Ukraine as possible, it is unclear whether the system is planned as a high-tech solution for exceptional use, only during the war, or whether automatic checks will become part of the daily landscape. post-war period.

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