A Facial Recognition system identifies an individual’s face by analyzing the characteristics of it. Manufacturers integrate this special feature in their products with the aim to prevent strangers from accessing private information. Police in Qingdao (China) has another purpose for it all together. As reported by The Daily Mail, they were able to capture 25 “wanted criminals” at a beer festival by making use of this software.

The accuracy of the system

The Qindao authorities said that the system is 98.1 per cent accurate when it comes to identifying the “right” face.

It was able to recognize an offender, who had apparently been on the run since the last ten years. The festival consisted of eighteen cameras with this technology, and thus, it was hard for the criminals to escape. The policemen stated that those who were arrested, have a record of drug abuse, theft, and other such offenses.

How does it work?

The camera would send down an alarm as soon as a face matched any information already existing in the police database. Six cameras at the entrance were accompanied by six officers, who were solely in charge of verifying the matches. China has long been using the assistance of facial recognition technology to solve crimes. Most nooks and corners of the city consist of cameras that identify those who break the law.

Chinese KFC branches also have facial recognition systems that were installed after the rise of toilet paper thieves.

Companies have been installing this technology in smartphones as well. Motorola along with start-up Neurala joined hands to manufacture cameras designed especially to recognize criminals. They are currently working on its prototype, with no news regarding when it will officially be introduced in the market.

Chief Technology Officer (Motorola), Mr. Paul Steinberg said that the company sees great potential in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The firm feels that it can safeguard user safety, thereby creating better communities. But Steinberg also acknowledged the numerous challenges they could face while applying AI in public. These systems could even be incorporated into small computers, Neurala said.

By automatically scanning hundreds of faces in the crowd, insolvable cases such as that of a missing child and investigation of a crime can be resolved easily. Since its AI, it also comes with the ability of machine learning. In this scenario, the more faces the system comes across, the faster it will become at detecting them.