Per­cent

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 13 Business -

of miss­ing peo­ple now re­unite with their sep­a­rated fam­ily mem­bers with the help of AI tech­nol­ogy crunched all that data and iden­ti­fied 10 groups of pho­tos that were pos­si­bly of the same peo­ple.

Fu was one of them. DNA tests fol­lowed. Fu’s iden­tity was es­tab­lished and he was able to re­unite with his par­ents.

That’s just one ex­am­ple of how fa­cial recog­ni­tion is be­ing used across China to help track miss­ing se­nior cit­i­zens and kids sold by hu­man traf­fick­ers.

With the in­creas­ing use of AI in China’s pub­lic se­cu­rity bureaus, more and more fam­i­lies that had lost all hope of find­ing their lost loved ones, are again be­com­ing hope­ful.

A res­cue man­age­ment sta­tion in Shang­hai helps nearly 1,000 peo­ple every year with cru­cial in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to their true iden­tity. In the past two years, us­ing fa­cial recog­ni­tion and other tech­nolo­gies, of­fi­cials have helped about 95 per­cent of such peo­ple to find their lost or sep­a­rated fam­ily mem­bers or reach their home­towns, ac­cord­ing to China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion.

Every time I cover such news or read such sto­ries, I get over­whelmed by joy­ful tears all around.

It’s per­haps need­less to say then: if prop­erly used and pri­vacy is well pro­tected, new tech­nolo­gies can make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

Nowhere could this be truer than in China where about 500,000 se­nior cit­i­zens go miss­ing every year. Stated dif­fer­ently, some 1,370 se­nior peo­ple go miss­ing every day on av­er­age, ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port from a res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion af­fil­i­ated to the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs.

Of course, from tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies’ stand­point, this spells busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. The se­cu­rity sec­tor, which in­cludes the pub­lic se­cu­rity bureaus, is now one of the most ac­tive users of so­phis­ti­cated AI prod­ucts and ser­vices in China.

Who could pos­si­bly com­plain when tech­nol­ogy pro­duces both pub­lic good and prof­its?

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