Facial recognition that could help find lost elders introduced at Singapore Defense Summit

611
Photo: YouTube screengrab

A three day summit on defense technology was held at the Shangri-La Hotel from June 27 to 29 that introduced facial-recognition technology that could help families find older members who may have wandered off or gone missing. 

This technology is made possible through artificial intelligence and is currently being used in China, not only to track down missing elders but also to actually catch criminals. The technology uses algorithms that allow computers to find pedestrians among video footage, as determined by the person’s clothes, gender and even their age.

SenseTime, a Chinese artificial-intelligence company, has partnered with local officials in cities such as Shenzhen, Yunnan and Chongqing for catching perpetrators of crime, as well as finding lost elderly relatives.

Facial recognition is not the only thing SenseTime’s artificial intelligence technology can do. People’s ages and gender are also recognized, along with the color of their clothes and the type of sleeves they are wearing. Their systems are able to identify specific vehicles from video surveillance—not only the make and model of these vehicles, but even their license plates. 

According to Gao Yuchen, the marketing officer of SenseTime, police from Shenzhen used this artificial intelligence technology last January to find a missing relative in under three hours. Family members told the police the age and type of clothes worn by their missing relative, as well as gave them their photo.

SenseTime used this information to match it with video surveillance, and were able to find the relative.

In Guangzhao, a surveillance system made by SenseTime is used by a public-security bureau in order to compare the photos in their database with facial images from crime scenes for identifying suspects.

Since 2017, almost 100 criminal cases have been solved, with 800 people captured and more than 2,000 people identified. 

With SenseTime’s technology, police in China nabbed a suspect charged with “economic crimes” among 60,000 concertgoers in Nanchang, China, although this technology has since raised ethical concerns. Cameras with facial-recognition capabilities were installed at the ticket entrance, and then linked to a national database. This led to recognition of the man, whereupon police were alerted.

Human rights groups, however, are up in arms concerning the mass surveillance of citizens.

The Singapore Defense Summit also featured a new fleet management system from the Defense Science and Technology Agency, which will be adapted in phases by Singapore’s defense forces starting later this year.