In a feat of technology that might seem almost dystopian, a man who was accused of murdering his girlfriend was recently caught in China after a facial recognition software inferred that he had tried to scan the face of a dead person.
A noted Chinese daily said that a 29-year-old man named Zhang from the Fujian province in China reportedly set alarm bells ringing when he tried to scan his dead girlfriend’s face via an app called Money Station to apply for a loan.
The artificial intelligence-powered app, however, found out that the person whose face was being scanned, was dead. Reportedly, the app uses AI to verify different applications and asks applicants to wink during the approval process. The system also detected that there was no eye movement and that the voice of the applicant and the gender did not match. The staff at Money Station contacted police after a manual check and found bruises on the woman’s face and red marks around her neck.
The Chinese daily has reported that Zhang is suspected of strangling his girlfriend with a rope in Xiamen on 11 April after they argued about money and she threatened to leave him. He then allegedly went on the run with the body hidden in the boot of a rented car. Zhang is also accused of impersonating the victim and contacting her employers to ask for time off work.
The advancement of facial recognition technology might not only make the world a safer place to live in, but also enrich our everyday lives in other ways. For example, it can be used as a biometric measure to confirm identity in high-security situations, such as an ATM transaction. It can also be used to provide specialised services to individuals who have availed of them, such as VIP treatment in the hospitality sector. It also lays the groundwork for the seamless operation of the Internet of Things, due to its non-invasive method of confirming identity.
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