UCL Faculty of Laws


Dr Michael Veale interviewed on BBC World’s Digital Planet

9 January 2020

Dr Veale was interviewed on an episode called “Why is AI so far from perfect?”, where he discussed AI infrastructure and how facial recognition systems are being used.

Dr Michael Veale

Dr Michael Veale (Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation at UCL Laws) was interviewed on an episode of Digital Planet, a BBC World programme focusing on technological and digital news from around the world. The programme was broadcast on 2nd January.

Dr Veale discussed how to move discussions of technology and society away from downstream questions concerning bias or discrimination after deployment, to questions further upstream about the infrastructure itself, such as why, where, when and by whom facial recognition systems are being used.

Dr Veale commented:

"I think bias is the wrong question... large companies want you to place the focus on bias because bias implies that we're not allowed to question who deployed it, why did they deploy it... all we are allowed to do is to say 'how do we make it non-discriminatory as an after-thought [...] we may never get to the questions of 'is facial recognition racist' because we may have decided to not use it."

Listen to the episode in full