During the first introduction of facial recognition technology, particularly to Chinese immigration officials, some of them appeared not to be conversant with technology advances.
“We knew about it 20 years ago and, combined with fingerprint checks, the accuracy is only 53 percent, “said one of the officials to SenseTime’s CEO Xu Li.
According to Xu, the endeavor was equal to a coin toss with a 50/50 possibility of succeeding.
Currently, SenseTime prides itself on being a leading AI champion in the nation. In fact, the company is behind the supplying of automatic face scanning systems to over 40 railway stations and some airports all over China.
Xu asserted that his bureaucracy encounter shows a crucial problem facing the artificial intelligence (AI) industry today.
He said: “With standards, technology adopters can better understand the risk involved, just like creditworthiness for individuals and companies. Providers of facial recognition can be assigned different trust levels, ranging from financial security at the top to entertainment uses.”
According to Xu Li, national standards, which are based on accepted specifications and rules agreed to by a panel of professionals, enable companies to compete with each other on a level playing field as opposed to striving to meet the standards set by customers.
“The quicker commonly approved standards can be set up, the healthier the industry will be,” he asserted on the sidelines of the World AI Conference that was held in Shanghai last month.
SenseTime is the newest company to be selected by Beijing to propel the nation’s innovation endeavors in intelligent vision.
Other national artificial intelligence (AI) champions include Tencent Holdings for computer vision in medical diagnosis, Alibaba Group for smart city projects, iFlyTek for speech recognition and Baidu for self-driving vehicles.
Founded four years ago, SenseTime initiated a research project at the Hong Kong Science Park, specifically under Tang Xiaoou, a Chinese University professor, among other academics.
The initiative has developed into a ‘platform company’ that now proclaims to be the most valuable AI start-up in the world with a valuation of about $4.5 billion after its newest financing round back in May.
The growth of SenseTime corresponds with China’s adoption of facial recognition technology and its incorporation into the Chinese population’s daily lives.
The Chinese public security authorities currently use the technology to identify not only suspected criminals but also jaywalkers.
Furthermore, the technology has also been embraced by various sectors including transport, entertainment, finance, and retail, particularly for utilization in non-public security applications.
According to Gen Market Insight, China is the leading market for facial recognition technologies, specifically with its portion of international sales anticipated to increase from 29.3% last year to 44.6% in 2023.
Also, according to the international facial recognition market is projected to be worth $6.5 billion by 2021.
Xu asserted that it does not matter whether China or the US develop AI standards, “as long as there is a set of standards to follow.”
He added that they could also be implemented to suit an individual nation’s specific conditions.
Xu also said that the standards are vital life-changing technologies like AI, which can be anticipated to have a considerable on impact in society and “morph into an indispensable part of our lives.”