The world of AI is one that is constantly evolving with intensive research continually underway by both universities and tech companies. Although still in the early stages of what is thought to be possible, some sectors of AI have already matured to the point that they are providing valuable services to the industry.
Image recognition has been with us for some time now, most people have used or are aware of Google’s Image search capability, this ability to analyse and compare images provides a useful tool to expand the use of AI for identification purposes.
When we think of AI identification software, it’s likely we will think of facial recognition first, but within the manufacturing industry, a different need has been identified, one solved with AI. Modern manufacturing relies on production lines often involving many individual processes. Each of these processes must be carried out and the product sent down the line to the next stage of the manufacturing operation. Mistakes made in a prior stage of production can cause problems further down the line. Systems developed that use AI to monitor the production process remotely and alert operators to any problems as they arise have become smarter recently and now are able to use big data supplied by many sensors, cameras and machines across the factory to identify problems in their early stages so they can be rectified without interrupting production. This ability to identify problems either before or immediately after they happen can vastly reduce a manufacturer’s downtime and increase their profits and efficiency, therefore this will be a growing area for AI identification software and the companies that are continually developing the latest iterations.
Smartphones And Devices
As any iPhone owner will tell you, facial recognition is here and is helping owners of the phones keep their personal data safe. As it turns out, differentiating one face from all the other faces in the world is not as hard as you would think. The AI software in charge of the process uses an image provided by the camera of the phone and takes critical measurements from the image. It then compares these measurements with its known record of the phone owner’s face. If the data matches, the phone is unlocked. This is not the global facial recognition that is a hot topic for human rights activists, but more a convenient set of data about the physical characteristics of the phone’s owner, much like a fingerprint but with the advantage of a contactless identification process.
Online Casino and Lottery Operators
The gambling industry has been an early adopter of AI technology and now the German Zeal Network, which provides infrastructure for lottery operators, has recently shown its commitment to the technology by announcing that they are teaming up with Nect to bring AI identification to their platform. The AI identification system they intend to employ is similar to systems being used by a range of UK casinos in order to protect minors from gambling. Zeal Network hopes to bring the same security to its customers by using Nect to screen and identify underage gamblers, this will ensure that adults only use the Zeal Network. This early adoption of technology to self-regulate by companies within the gambling and online casino industries shows their proactive approach to customer safety. The Nect system will require hopeful gamblers to provide ID in the form of documentation or a selfie video, once uploaded through the company’s dedicated app, the customer is verified using a process that actively checks the document and video data for any signs of manipulation or fraudulent misrepresentation.
This inclusion of AI identification within the onboarding process means the operators can remain compliant with legal requirements in an efficient and highly effective way.
These ways of implementing AI identification, within an industry where the viability of a customer depends on fixed criteria, are ever evolving to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the industry. This in part is assured as it is driven by the lottery or casino operator’s need to meet the requirements of the UK Gambling Commission and government legislation. This means each operator must be seen to be using a rigorous age verification process and AI identification software can provide answers not easily achievable in other ways.
Law Enforcement Use
The use of AI facial recognition within law enforcement worldwide is an area of application that brings with it many ethical hurdles.
The US Government Accountability Office reported for the 2020 fiscal year that 14 agencies reported the use of facial recognition to unlock their smartphones. Within domestic law enforcement, 6 agencies had used AI technology to identify people or suspects. This was done by comparing images to previously taken mugshots. The technology also provided help in identifying the victims of crime by utilising images published on social media platforms.
5 agencies reported that AI identification technology was used for physical security purposes. These agencies used the technology for monitoring and surveillance of various locations while searching for individuals. This was achieved in some cases by monitoring live CCTV and alerting the agencies if people on a specified watchlist were detected.
These examples of law enforcement use utilise the ability of AI identification to find individuals of interest. As the legal framework is built we will no doubt see further implementation of AI recognition technology being applied by the world’s law enforcement agencies. This application of the capabilities of AI identification brings with it a far greater moral issue, one not faced by manufacturing or gambling, where the technology is used either to improve efficiency or protect vulnerable individuals from harm. Any proposed government use invariably attracts interest from humanitarian freedom groups that argue over the technology’s ability to intrude upon our lives. It is clear that AI identification offers advancements in safeguarding and legal compliance that cannot be argued, over and above that we will have to see what balance can be found between the rise of AI and its benefits, against people’s rights to anonymity.