Although in some areas, privacy concerns have prompted a slowdown in facial recognition technology. But in China, many people are used to scanning the face every day. From payment to visiting residential areas, student hostels, hotels and other places, often need to face scan. This technology has even been used to solve a chronic problem for decades, namely the frequent theft of the Beijing Temple of Heaven toilet paper. These public lavatories now have automatic paper dischargers that recognize the user‘s face and prevent frequent entrants.
More importantly, Alibaba‘s online payment service, Ant Financial, launches new features and its 450 million subscribers can access their online wallet through Selfie. China Construction Bank allows users to pay for facial scans on some vending machines, and drop-trips for car applications are also using face recognition technology to validate drivers‘ identities. Baidu has developed doors that require facial recognition to enter, and they can be used in offices or Ticketing attractions.
The Chinese preference for this technology has helped to create the world‘s first facial recognition "Unicorn," Face ++ in Beijing, which raised $ 100 million in the third round of financing in December 2016, valuing more than One billion U.S. dollars.
Face ++, a new visual services platform owned by Beijing-based Megvii Ltd., has licensed its software to drip travel and ant clothes. In many of China‘s most densely populated cities, banks often have long queues at their door and Face ++ smells the first business opportunity. The company said: "You have to wait a long time before we can handle the business we need, for which we provide face recognition for the financial technology department." Now, Face ++ plans to focus on the retail industry.
Although the basic artificial intelligence research behind facial recognition technology in China is similar to that in Europe and the United States, China has gained a leading position in commercial applications. Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics human identification technology expert Leng Biao (transliteration) said: "Google is not fully pursued facial recognition technology, because it has a higher long-term desire, in fact, facial recognition technology has been very mature, but Chinese companies pay more attention Short-term gains, they face recognition technology as the forefront of the use of AI to get the fastest, the best way. "
Face recognition start-ups in China are also gaining positive feedback: the more widely used their technologies, the better they will become. As business applications in real life continue to increase, more and more data is fed back into the system, which in turn helps to improve deep learning. If all AI applications, access to data is crucial. The combination of China‘s vast population and loose privacy laws has made the cost of obtaining information treasures extremely low.
Leng Biao said: "China is not supervising the collection of people‘s photos and collecting data in China is far easier than in the United States. In the early days, you could even buy photos of other people for just $ 5." Simmons & Simmons, Shanghai "Until 2009, the first law explicitly banning the abuse of personal information was introduced," said Xun Yang, a lawyer for the Chinese government.
In view of this, Chinese companies are even more daring in introducing facial recognition technology than their Western counterparts. Eric Schmidt, parent of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, called facial recognition "horrifying" in 2011 and promised not to create user photo datasets. Until now, the commercial use of facial recognition technology in the United States has been limited to people tagging social media photos.
While Alphabet‘s smart home unit, Nest, also integrates facial recognition technology into its security camera, its capabilities are limited in Illinois because the state enforces strict biometric data collection laws. In addition, facial recognition technology may also be abused. Unlike fingerprints, facial recognition can be done passively, meaning that the user may not know at all that he is being tested. The Chinese government applied facial recognition technology to surveillance cameras at train stations to remind police of passengers who are forbidden to travel.
By complementing the government ID system, China‘s future biometrics (including facial recognition) market is expanding. China has the largest database of national identification photos in the world, with more than 1 billion photos, compared to 400 million in the United States. In addition, Chinese people have become accustomed to inserting ID cards into chip readers in order to set cell phone numbers, buy tickets and stay in hotels. China is also the first country in the world to embed radio frequency identification in ID cards.