Facial Recognition Turned to Chickens in China

Facial Recognition Turned to Chickens in ChinaFacial recognition technology is used more widely in China than perhaps any other country, but soon it will be for the birds: A farming insurance company says it’s planning to use the technology to identify chickens.

The firm is an arm of ZhongAn Online; as South China Morning Post reports, the company recently pioneered the use of blockchain technology to track chickens in the organic farming industry, which appears to be seeing growing interest from “increasingly health-conscious urban consumers”. ‘GoGo Chicken’ customers can already find detailed information about the chickens they purchase using a smartphone app, since each chicken wears an anklet through its four- to six-month life span (compared to about 45 days for a factory farmed chicken). Now, ZhongAn Tech CEO Chen Wei says his firm is “looking into the possibility of using facial recognition, as it could allow consumers to identify their chickens on monitors.”

The use of facial recognition on animals is not unheard of, but its application in organic farming is certainly novel. Still, in China, where facial recognition is used in a growing range of everyday applications from student identification in exams to, improbably, toilet paper dispensers at a historic park, its use on chickens may not raise so many eyebrows. Even the chickens may not give a cluck about it.

Source: South China Morning Post

December 18, 2017 – by Alex Perala