The state of the art is really spooky.
If you’ve spent any meaningful amount of time in a managerial role, you probably understand the importance of having a team with members who feel comfortable speaking up when they disagree with you. That’s a critical component of high-performing teams, and one you take for granted when you start to manage teams of Chinese people. In addition to everyone being agreeable, there are other things that Western people will find difficult about managing teams of Chinese. It’s not the long lunches, it’s not that they like to sleep at their desks, and it’s not all the cute cartoon figurines they place on their computer monitors. It’s the fact that initially it’s hard to tell them apart.
Yes, we said it. Put most Western people in a room full of Chinese people and they’ll have a hard time telling them apart – initially. If you mention that to the Chinese, they’ll nod thoughtfully in agreement and tell you that to them, Western people all look the same too – like that character on Friends. This is because our brains were “trained” to recognize facial differences using different data sets. That’s also why when it comes to using artificial intelligence to identify facial differences, one size algorithm doesn’t fit all.
When it comes to applying facial recognition in China, the country seems to be farther ahead than any other. Just look at some of these examples:
And the list goes on. Meanwhile in the USA, everyone is up in arms over the fact that the algorithms can’t consistently identify people who have different skin colors. With few barriers to slow things down, and a lot of hard 9-9-6 work, the facial recognition market in China is rapidly reaching maturity. One company that’s managed to achieve unicorn status by telling Chinese people apart is SenseTime....MUCH MORE
- The Shanghai metro is developing facial recognition systems that will be placed at the entrance of each subway to verify the identity of commuters
- A new police car can now do a 360-degree scan to identify faces at up to 60 yards away while traveling at 75 miles per hour
- Railway police use facial-recognition eyeware to identify someone in just 100 milliseconds from a database of 10,000 individuals
- Unmanned convenience stores use facial recognition for payments, while KFC uses “smile-to-pay” technology
- China’s answer to Airbnb, Xiaozhu, will soon use facial recognition for check-ins
- Chinese exam authorities are using facial recognition to catch cheaters for competitive college entrance exams