AI is a buzzword if there ever was one, with companies promising consumers revolutionary technologies on a daily basis. Language processing, self-driving vehicles, workforce automation, and smart medical care are a sampling of AI tools that have become integrated into our lives. China has, in fact, surged ahead of the US in artificial intelligence. According to CB Insights, an American research firm, AI technologies raised $15.2 billion in 2017 worldwide. But in China, unlike the U.S. face recognition technology is the next frontier.
The company that’s leading the charge is called YITU Technology. YITU recently won a face recognition contest hosted by the US government thanks to Chinese public authorities that support its development. While face recognition is held back by security issues in the West, in China it’s supported by the executive branch as a way to facilitate all aspects of life. There are ATMs that use face recognition for customers to more quickly withdraw money, and police use face recognition to solve crimes. YITU’s face recognition database has over one billion faces and can scan and identify someone’s mug in a matter of seconds.
So what other areas of life should we expect AI to affect in the future? Online tech magazine Technode recently visited the YITU headquarters to see what other applications it has up its sleeve. Here’s a recap of what they saw:
- Employees are tracked and monitored by AI. When YITU workers enter the building, their faces are picked-up by a scanner that automatically clocks them in. Once inside, a giant screen shows the location of each employee for ease of collaboration.
- Smart city solutions. In 2015, YITU forged ahead with two initiatives to integrate its technologies into the urban landscape: a big data cloud system for the Guizhou traffic police that lets them monitor the flow of traffic and respond to accidents in record time, and ATM technology that automatically picks up on customers’ identities.
- AI for healthcare. YITU has compiled a database of health records to create a product for patients that facilitate screenings and self-diagnosis. The AI can pick up on lung cancer, bone density, and pediatric conditions.
YITU rate of progress is astounding. The company opened its first international branch in Singapore in January 2018 with a promise to higher 50-60 researchers. From healthcare to chatbots, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on YITU’s progress in the years to come.