CHINA is using a network of artificial intelligence cameras to find anyone with a fever in its latest bid to tackle the coronavirus.
The country’s Ministry of Industry called on AI companies to help fight the outbreak this week, with many responding how useful their technologies could be.
In the Big Brother-style crackdown, companies have shared how their systems can scan the streets for people with fevers and even recognise their faces when wearing a mask.
If someone with coronavirus boards a train in China the railway’s “real name” system can list the people sitting nearby.
Mobile apps can also alert people if they have shared a train or flight with someone who has the killer bug.
Maps can also point out where people with the virus live.
And now, AI companies are also getting involved.
Facial recognition firm Megvii claims its new ‘AI temperature measurement system’ can use thermal cameras to detect a fever, using body and face data to identify individuals.
Another leading AI company, SenseTime, says its tech can identify people wearing face masks.
Another firm claims it can detect fevers to within an accuracy of 0.3ºC using infrared cameras.
Epidemiologist Li Lanjuan said: “In the era of big data and internet, the flow of each person can be clearly seen.
“With such new technologies, we should make full use of them to find the source of infection and contain the source of infection.”
Zhu Jiansheng of the China Academy of Railway Sciences explained how technology will also be used to track people with coronavirus on trains.
He said: “We will retrieve relevant information about the passenger, including the train number, carriage number and information on passengers who were close to the person, such as people sitting three rows of seats before and after the person.”
“We will extract the information and then provide it to relevant epidemic prevention departments.”
China has long held no-nonsense rules when it comes to surveillance – most recently introducing face scans for all new phone users.
Under the new rules, everyone who purchases a new mobile phone must submit to an official facial scan.
The country’s “real-name registration” policies also already require people to link online accounts with their official government ID, meaning there is plenty of data on file already.
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