E-commerce firm Alibaba Group recently announced they will bring voice and facial recognition technologies to the Shanghai subway system through its affiliate Ant Financial Services group, according to a report from the South China Morning Post.
This new technology will affect millions of commuters on one of the longest and furthest railway networks on the planet, the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, which will be the first time Alibaba has utilized its AI systems in any transport industry.
The plan includes a far-field voice recognition technology that would enable accurate communication with a smart device of up to five meters in ticket machines in all stations – even in public areas with excessive noise – and facial recognition systems at the entrance of stations. Not only will this verify the identities of commuters, but passengers will also be able to tell their destination to ticket machines, which will in turn recommend the best route to get there.
The facial recognition technology is still in the early stages of development and no launch dates for the new systems were given. In order to implement, commuters would be required to submit their photos to be accumulated into a database.
The announcement is is situated in the larger trend of China’s use of facial recognition in public spaces, with Alibaba looking forward to implementing the technology in a plethora of other spaces like airports, restaurants, retail stores, and company reception desks.
Source: South China Morning Post
December 7, 2017 – by Susan Stover