Alibaba’s virtual assistant gets eyes, facial recognition planned

Alibaba Group has launched its AliGenie 2.0 human-computer interaction platform, which brings visual interaction with object recognition to its Tmall Genie voice-controlled speaker, and paves the way for facial recognition, Alizila reports.

Tmall enables authorized users to order place orders after verifying them with voice recognition, and developers plan to add facial recognition as well, according to Alizila. The platform was developed by Alibaba’s A.I. Labs, which are also working on advancing and commercializing technologies for speech recognition, natural language processing, deep learning, and voice identification.

Users enable AliGenie 2.0’s visual capabilities by downloading the Genie FireEye app to a smartphone, and then connecting it to the Tmall through the device’s XHolder. The mobile device’s front-facing camera is used to scan objects, and AliGenie is programmed to recognize a range of items, including 117 children’s books and numerous medicine packages.

Alibaba has sold over 2 million Tmall Genies since its release in July, and the technology is also embedded in numerous smart home and IoT objects.

It was reported in December that speech and facial recognition technology developed by Alibaba will be deployed to Shanghai’s subway system.

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