Precision Regulation for facial recognition, not blanket-ban

With the recent breakthroughs in deep learning and computer vision, we are beginning to see Artificial Intelligence being used in applications that have once existed only in science-fiction settings. Our AI computer vision algorithm has been deployed in seniors homes to prevent seniors living with dementia from going missing; our advanced computer vision algorithm is now integrated with infrared-sensing arrays to conduct high-throughput fever detection for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Understanding of the legitimate concerns for AI is the key

Yet, we, collectively as a society, need to be mindful about how advanced technologies are applied appropriately. Specifically, we must prevent the misuse and abuse of advanced technologies like AI.

Be informed on the technology before legislating

First step in a precision regulation approach is to start with an educated understanding that not all applications involving facial recognition can be lumped together under the same umbrella. Specifically, the applications of facial recognition algorithms can be categorized into three groups:

  1. Facial authentication: this refers to a system using facial features as a means of identification. Most new smartphones have adopted this technology to help users unlock their phones. From the engineering perspective, this technology involves a 1:1 facial feature similarity comparison, which does not require heavy computation capabilities.
  2. Face matching — this refers to matching one or many faces to a group of face images stored in a database (1:N or N:N comparisons). Face matching has been used in AIH’s senior wandering prevention program — in which we use to prevent specific seniors (i.e. those living with dementia) from going missing at the seniors homes. Additionally, this application could be used as an effective victim identification tool in human trafficking and child exploitation investigation cases.

Apply our state-of-art computer vision AI to solve real-world problems.

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