Man defeats Alibaba robot in face recognition contest

July 6, 2016 - 

A robot developed by Ant Financial, an Internet finance affiliate of Alibaba Group, was outperformed by a man in a human face recognition contest held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province last Thursday, according to

Wang Yuheng beat Mark, dubbed the “Chinese AlphaGo”, in matching 50 female models, both in person and by using photos.

Mark won the first round by recognizing photos of three of the girls from a total of 150, a whole six minutes before Wang.

The contest organizers increased the number of photos to 300 for the second round, with Wang taking one minute less than Mark to complete the task.

In the third and final round, contestants had to decide on which childhood photos corresponded to one or two of the girls.

Wang completed the task in 21 minutes and 48 seconds, correctly identifying one and mistaking another. In comparison, Mark made mistakes in both scenarios and spent a total of 28 minutes and 2 seconds.

Pi Dong, a senior expert at Ant Financial, said the results of the contest were relatively important considering that Wang viewed three-dimensional human faces while Mark made decisions based on two-dimensional photos of the models.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.