China is building a facial recognition system capable of identifying any of its 1.3 billion citizens in a matter of seconds with 90% accuracy. The system is however having problems due to the large number of people and the technological limits of facial recognition. Still, once those hurdles are surpassed, what could go wrong?.
Some restaurants have even offered discounts to customers based on a machine that ranks their looks according to an algorithm. Customers with “beautiful” characteristics – such as symmetrical features – get better scores than those with noses that are “too big” or “too small” and those that get better scores will get cheaper meals.
Some public lavatories in Beijing also use facial recognition so that the automatic dispensing machines will deny toilet paper to people who ask for it more than once within a given period.
Facial recognition could supersede other personal identification methods that are used to make payments such as scanning fingerprints or QR codes on a mobile phone.
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