May 15, 2019
The pervasiveness of technology has allowed our society to automate a lot of the tasks that previously fell upon the shoulders of people. Rather than panicking that advancements, such as facial recognition, are dystopian, though, we must focus on the benefits of reining in the power of technology to build a better tomorrow.
Facial recognition has become increasingly important for business as it leads to better security across the board, automates some of the tasks that were too demanding for professionals to perform, and ultimately boosts productivity and customer satisfaction.
Let the Robots Improve Security – Facial Recognition as Gatekeeper
If you are like Elon Musk and you have your own Tesla Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada, then you are probably in a bit of a pickle. With thousands of people working on-site, security is a bit of an issue. The comings and goings of people are usually difficult to track by guards who are just about ready to stamp any piece of paper preferred their way with a trusting look.
Imagine that you could let an AI algorithm figure out who was on the payroll and who was coming to the factory to sell merchandise or offer specific services that had little to do with the production of your latest Tesla S.
Well, facial recognition is just about that solution and deploying a software like this in a factory where production is churning day and night and people are constantly streaming in and out can help you root out the imposters.
Say Smile – A Biometric Selfie
Without any doubt, security is in the center of all that facial recognition stands for. The hospitality industry is quickly catching up to the idea. Biometric selfies can be snapped at home and send over to your hotel. This would facilitate your arrival and guests already say that the idea of hotel staff recognizing them upon arrival is quite appealing.
Instead of hassling to get your loyalty card out and explain who you are, you can just head right for your room. Interestingly enough, 41% of guests say that the “would book a hotel if they were recognized by hotel associates”. Personal interaction is key to customer satisfaction it seems, and this is yet another area where facial recognition software comes in handy.
Looking Out for You – Helping Gambling Addicts
Other than security reasons, businesses can very easily help customers in specific niches, such as casinos. Technologies needn’t just be used to police potential wrongdoers and facial recognition can be leveraged to ensure that people who suffer from gambling addiction are assisted or removed from casino floors when need is.
For example, in Japan, a new Integrated Resort (IR) is expected to open doors around 2024, with the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving its full unconditional approval for the project. To guarantee that people who show symptoms of gambling addiction are safe, GamblingNews.com reports that Mr. Abe’s government plans to deploy facial recognition software in the Japanese Integrated Resort.
It’s an interesting commitment to upholding customer safety and one not without precedent. Macau is already using this technology to keep casino workers outside casinos in out-of-work-hours and similar technologies have been successfully deployed on casino floors in Atlantic City and Las Vegas in the United States.
AI Can Be Your New HR
AI is expected to become increasingly sophisticated and capable of assessing people better. Reading facial and body signs are important, some businesses think, as they can tell whether a candidate is being truthful.
Of course, this does raise certain ethical dilemmas. Is an AI able to tell, for example, when we are simply stressed out rather than misleading the interviewer? AI hiring is definitely an interesting idea, but it is somewhat futuristic and it must come with a handful of caveats when used.
Risk & Compliance
Risk and compliance companies can benefit in a huge way if they can simply look up the biometric passport of a person and run it by facial recognition software to determine whether a person is who they claim to be.
Remember how some banks would refuse to disclose any information over the phone? Well, biometric solutions and facial recognition can solve the to-and-fro between banks and customers. Proving your identity will be easier, quicker and leaving very little room to error, thanks to the latest advancements in tech.
Impersonating others is not what it used to be and facial recognition will be able to assist banks with maintaining the highest standards of security for their clients.
A Few Words About Civil Liberties and Commercial Bias
Of course, facial recognition is not all perfect. Many tech entrepreneurs have been cautioning against the mass adoption of technology. Apart from the expected debate about a government that sticks its nose into people’s business, there are other concerns to address.
For instance, MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini believes that facial recognition AI is biased because it mostly samples white people. Mr. Buolamwini does acknowledge that tech giants have already been taking steps to improve the situation.
Facial Recognition Is Here to Stay
With facial recognition taking hold across a number of industries, it’s becoming obvious that the technology will stick around, helping multiple industries improve their offerings. Concerns about privacy and safety notwithstanding, facial recognition seems to be a force for good in the world and the onus is once again on us to make sure that we use this technology for good rather than bad.