The United States Air Force has reportedly developed facial recognition technology (FTR from facial recognition techechnolgy) with artificial intelligence for autonomous drones.
The drones will be used by special operations personnel on missions overseas for intelligence gathering and other operations, according to a contract between the Department of Defense (DoD) and Seattle-based RealNetworks.
"The US Air Force has completed a project to develop facial recognition software for autonomous drones, sparking concerns that they could target and kill people," reports New Scientist.
The contract between the Department of Defense and RealNetworks is worth $800.000 and allows the drones to fly autonomously with little to no human assistance, while the software will use machine learning (ML from machine learning) techniques to recognize faces.
According to RealNetworks, the technology could potentially be used for perimeter security, home search and rescue operations.
The US military isn't the only one using facial recognition technology.
The UN claimed at one point that Libyan troops had equipped drones with weapons and facial recognition software as of 2021.
To track down reckless drivers, Dubai police have been using drones that use facial recognition technology for some time. China has also been using FTR technology for some time.
Meanwhile, privacy advocates in the US are pushing back against police use of facial recognition technology.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has come out against the use of the technology in drones.
The government's use of facial recognition technology was banned in San Francisco for the first time in 2019, with Oakland and Berkeley following soon after.
The new technology could be used to kill specific individuals.
So there are significant questions about the ethics and legality of using facial recognition technology in military drones.