Chinese Facial Recognition Firm Says It Can Now Identify People Wearing Masks


    Hanwang Technology, a Chinese firm specializing in facial recognition software, says it can now identify people that are wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus. The company says it used a sample database of around 6 million unmasked faces and a smaller database of masked faces to create the system. The Next Web reports: The Beijing-based firm, which also goes by the English name Hanvon, began to develop the tech in January, as people in China began donning face masks in their droves. The system was rolled out just one month later. Hanwang Vice President Huang Lei says the system’s recognition rate reached about 95% when people wore a mask — still some way below its regular success rate of 99.5%. China’s SenseTime, the world’s most valuable AI startup, announced in February that it had also adapted its product to identify people wearing masks. Such developments have led critics to claim that the coronavirus is being used as an excuse to ramp up surveillance. In the case of Hanwang, there is still one way to hide from its system: wearing the fashionable combination of both a face mask and sunglasses. Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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