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Microsoft today announced that it will retire several Azure AI facial recognition capabilities that can be used to find emotional states and internal identity attributes. As part of this announcement, the ability to predict emotion, gender, age, smile, facial hair, hair and makeup will be retired from today. Existing customers can use these APIs until June 21, 2023. Microsoft made this decision since these APIs can be misused and can subject people to stereotyping, discrimination or unfair denial of services.

Microsoft also announced that it is limiting access to the following Azure AI services.

To access any of the above Limited Access services, you need to get special access permission from Microsoft. Only customers managed by Microsoft, meaning those who are working directly with Microsoft account teams, can access these services.

Our vision is to empower developers and organizations to leverage AI to transform society in positive ways. We encourage responsible AI practices to protect the rights and safety of individuals. To achieve this, Microsoft has implemented a Limited Access policy grounded in our AI Principles to support responsible deployment of Azure services.

You can learn more about this announcement here.