When public good, profit spring from the same source
I assumed the avatar of a technology reporter three years ago, when Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto impressed me no end.
After all, technology giants’ products and services are omnipresent, which makes them powerful. You want to be careful — even an inadvertent mistake, like, say, Facebook’s recent data breach scandal, could land one in potential legal trouble.
Over the years, as I deepened my understanding of the tech industry, I discerned that forward-looking companies don’t just sit passively to avoid mistakes.
Instead, they believe a better option is to make use of cutting-edge technologies like facial recognition to empower ordinary people and make a difference to their lives.
Like, it could bring about a reunion of parents and their long-lost children trafficked 27 years ago.
Mind you, that’s not an example but a true story. Fu Gui found his parents thanks to AI and facial recognition technology.
Details: Both Fu and his father started to search for each other several years ago. They even registered their information on Baobeihuijia, or Baby Come Home, a volunteer-run website dedicated to finding lost young people.
However, what took their reunion so long was that the information they posted online was hugely different, which could not result in automated matching of their requests.
Fu’s post said he was born in April 1986 and went “missing”, kidnapped by human traffickers in Fujian province in 1991.
In his post, the father said Fu was born in November 1984 and went missing in 1990 from a village in Chongqing, about 1,700 kilometers away from the location Fu registered online.
Yet, against all odds, AI brought about their reunion by overcoming the inconsistent information.
The facial recognition technology can compare images of a person over a period of time at different ages. An AI company called Baidu and Baobeihuijia fed into their facial recognition system tens of thousands of pictures. Next, the system