Not just surveillance: AI used to supercharge workplaces

We've heard about government departments using facial recognition technology so far, but in what scenarios can you use the technology in your workplace?
12 April 2018

Police officers in China use AI-powered smart glasses for surveillance. Source: Reuters

Facial recognition technology is starting to make in-roads into everyday life, with mobile devices such as the iPhone X and other Android smartphones making it possible for the everyday consumer to leverage the technology.

As people get more comfortable with the tech, we are seeing a wider adoption of it in both public and private sectors. In China, for example, police are reportedly using special glasses equipped with facial recognition capabilities to identify potential suspects.

But apart from surveillance use, one place where such technology is really beginning to take off is where you probably wouldn’t have guessed: in the corporate setting.

One of the primary use-cases of the technology in the work setting is the authentication of employees. Instead of using access cards or pins to gain access to the building, some companies are now harnessing the power of facial recognition technology.

For instance, employees at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in Shenzhen can show their faces to enter their office building instead of swiping ID cards.

Facial recognition technology is beginning to replace the traditional clocking in system. Source: Shutterstock

Facial recognition technology would be especially useful in the cases of confidential boardroom presentations, for example. The technology would authorize who is entering the room while flagging anyone who is not permitted to attend.

For businesses, installing a facial tracking system can reap key benefits including:

A higher level of security: As aforementioned, your enterprise’s premises would be protected as you’ll be able to track both employees and visitors. You will be alerted in the case of anyone trying to enter who does not have permission.

High accuracy rates: Today, the success of face tracking technology is higher than ever, ensuring the process of identification is accurate. Though possible, it is hard to fool such systems, proving optimum protection of your facilities.

Full automation: Security typically involves manual recognition carried out by guards. By automating this using facial recognition technology, it means that you can save in costs as well as ensure a flawless identification process.

Addressing time fraud: Employees who are untruthful about their working hours is one of the most common violations of work ethics. Facial recognition tech will address this headache since all employees will be required to pass a face-scanning device to confirm their attendance. This will be a much speedier process than the traditional clock-in method with access cards.

It’s not just businesses who are beginning to adopt facial recognition technology in a bid to ramp up their security methods. Many airports have implemented automated passport control (APC) kiosks to authenticate the identities of passengers by matching their faces to the biometric record in their e-passport.

Airports are using facial recognition technology to speed up security checks |Source: Shutterstock

Last year, JetBlue Airlines announced the introduction of a pilot facial recognition system which enables passengers to self-board flights.

The airline pitched the idea of facial recognition as a way to improve convenience for travelers. Instead of having to present their boarding ticket, passport, or other travel documents, a passenger simply has to step up to a camera, where their identification will be verified.

The use of facial recognition technology in airports seems to especially be gaining momentum in China. According to Chinese state media outlet, Xinhua, over 550 security channels at 62 airports are using the technology to speed up security checks.