Biometric facial scanning terminals for public services roll out in Chinese province

Biometric facial scanning terminals for public services roll out in Chinese province

China’s South province of Hainan has introduced biometric facial recognition terminals for public services to authenticate identity in support of more than 150 government administrative tasks, writes South China Morning Post.

The machines are operational 24/7, reducing the need to line up for assistance during office hours. So far, 350 terminals have been stationed at government centers, public security bureaus, banks, drug stores and community centers.

Citizens can use the devices to get a temporary ID card, to pay for traffic tickets and to get information about the social welfare fund. This year, the province wants to make the virtual service available for more than 200 government tasks.

China has been actively pushing for a nation-wide digital infrastructure that includes AI, 5G and IoT technologies to boost economy and growth. Biometric facial recognition technology has been rolled out even for trash cans, while voice recognition is used for job automation. AI technology is used to analyze seismic activity and predict genetic disorders in newborns, while 180 state-approved colleges already have AI undergraduate study programs available for students, according to the report.

China is pushing for the use of open-source artificial intelligence to help extinguish COVID-19. Shenzhen biometrics startup Intellifusion recently closed a round of financing totaling $141 million (CNY 1 billion). Its strategic products include artificial intelligence chips, machine learning algorithms, and big data platforms.

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