NtechLab Founder Resigns Due To Disagreement On Use Of Facial Recognition Technology For Law Enforcement In Russia

JAKARTA - The two founders of the artificial intelligence company NtechLab resigned because they disagreed with the company's management and investors regarding projects in Russia. One of the founders left Russia in December 2021 while the other left in March 2022, shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The two founders' comments came after Reuters published a special report on Tuesday, March 28 on how Russian law enforcement officials used facial recognition technology to identify and detain demonstrators and opposition activists. NtechLab's FindFace is one of the algorithms that drive facial recognition systems in Moscow.

The two founders of Russia, Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, said the main disagreement was that they wanted NtechLab to stop all jobs in Russia and move all employees based in Russia, while company management wanted to resume operations in Russia.

"Most shareholders support management, so we have no choice but to withdraw from the company," Mukharenko told Reuters. NtechLab itself did not want to respond to a request for comment.

NtechLab is a Russian-based artificial intelligence (AI) company. The company was founded in 2015 by Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, who have now withdrawn from the company in late 2021 and early 2022.

NtechLab is known for its development of facial recognition technology, one of which is FindFace, which is used by Russian security forces in law enforcement operations.