In China, face recognition is transforming many aspects of daily life. Employees at e-commerce giant Alibaba in Shenzhen can show their faces to enter their office building instead of swiping ID cards. A train station in western Beijing matches passengers' tickets to their government-issued IDs by scanning their faces. If their face matches their ID card photo, the system deems their tickets valid and the station gate will open. The subway system in Hangzhou, a city about 125 miles southwest of Shanghai, employs surveillance cameras capable of recognizing faces to spot suspected criminals.
Facial recognition technology is used across China for everything from identifying criminals to measuring students' attention in class. Now, it has debuted a system in its subway that lets you use your face as a ticket. A report from South China Morning Post suggests the subway system in the southern city of Shenzhen has started using facial recognition technology to let folks over 60 years of age register themselves for free subway rides. Other cities such as Jinan, Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanjing, and Nanning are currently experimenting with this system. The technology in Shenzen has been deployed to 18 stations with 28 automatic gate machines and 60 self-service ticket processors.
The arrests spurred a splash of publicity from state media, who are crowning Mr. Cheung--one of the Hong Kong megastars known as the "Four Heavenly Kings"--with a new title: "The Nemesis of Fugitives." China's police departments have been openly touting their use of technology to nab lawbreakers--a campaign that rights activists say is aimed at winning public support for growing state surveillance. Concert organizers in China have also increasingly deployed facial-recognition systems to curb scalping by verifying the identities of ticket-holders. Surveillance companies and local security agencies have experimented with deploying the technology at events around the country in recent years. The tests date back to 2015, when one company, Shenzhen-based Firs Technology Co. Ltd. said its facial-recognition system helped police identify drug-users, fugitives and ex-convicts at a jewelry exhibition in the city of Chenzhou, in central China's Hunan province.
A humanoid robot named Yangyang is the latest to be revealed in China. Dressed in a full-length coat, the android can display a wide range of facial expressions and can speak, move its head, and raise its hands to greet people convincingly. And the machine bears an uncanny - yet apparently accidental - resemblance to former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Yangyang is one of a number of impressively realistic robots to be unveiled at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2015 in Beijing, China. The android was produced jointly by China's Shanghai Yangyang Intelligent Robot Science Service Centre and renowned Japanese robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, who has created some of the world's most eerily lifelike androids.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pressing forward with a lawsuit involving the facial recognition software offered by Amazon and Microsoft to government clients. In a complaint filed in a Massachusetts federal court, the ACLU asked for a variety of different records from the government, including inquiries to companies, meetings about the piloting or testing of facial recognition, voice recognition, and gait recognition technology, requests for proposals, and licensing agreements. At the heart of the lawsuit are Amazon's Rekognition and Microsoft's Face API, both facial recognition products that are available for customers of the companies' cloud platforms. The ACLU has also asked for more details on the US government's use of voice recognition and gait recognition, which is the automated process of comparing images of the way a person walks in order to identify them. Police in Shanghai and Beijing are already using gait-analysis tools to identify people.