Readings — From the September 2017 issue

Face the Nation

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From news reports in the past year of facial-recognition technologies that have been implemented in China.

Facial-recognition A.T.M.’s match faces to account details before allowing clients to withdraw cash.

Facial recognition at municipal intersections identifies jaywalkers, scans the image captured to police databases, and posts the offender’s photo, I.D. number, and home address on a public screen.

A lecturer at Sichuan University developed a face reader to take attendance and identify whether students were bored or stimulated.

Jiayuan, China’s most popular dating website, uses face-searching technology to help users find partners who match their physical preferences.

Residents of a women’s dormitory at Beijing Normal University say their names, swipe their identity cards, and have their faces scanned at the entrance. As students enter the building, the machine says, “Welcome home.” When students exit, the machine says, “Be pretty.”

A face reader in a Beijing K.F.C. estimates customers’ ages and moods to recommend menu items. A male customer in his early twenties is offered “a set meal of crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings, and Coke.” A female customer in her fifties is offered “porridge and soybean milk.”

The public bathroom in Beijing’s Tiantan Park scans faces before dispensing sixty centimeters of toilet paper. Additional paper will not be dispensed to the same person within a nine-minute period.

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October 2018


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