Facebook has shut down one of its most powerful AI-powered features on the platform, the automatic face recognition used for face tagging. It was one of its biggest automation features that were used to figure out the people it saw in photos.
Facebook users that have been using this feature will now no longer be recognized in photos and videos. This is because Facebook is deleting more than a billion faces saved in its face recognition system.
This means that people’s faces will not be recognized in Memories, photos, or videos and the feature cannot be turned on again. Facebook users will now have to tag people manually as the automatic process will no longer happen.
Furthermore, the Automatic Alt Text feature that creates image descriptions for blind people will no longer show the names of people recognized in photos.
All of these changes are expected to happen over the upcoming weeks. Here is what Facebook had to say about it:
We need to weigh the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules. Facial recognition’s long-term role in society needs to be debated in the open, and among those who will be most impacted by it. We will continue engaging in that conversation and working with the civil society groups and regulators who are leading this discussion.