Baidu will provide the airport with its AI-enabled facial recognition technology for the admission of ground crew and staff, gradually expanding the capability to verify the identities of passengers. Eventually, passengers will be able to board their flights just by having their faces scanned at the airport, with the “face as boarding pass” capability ready for implementation as early as 2018, Baidu said.
The project comes at a critical time for New York-listed Baidu, as it tries to transform from being the dominant operator of China’s internet search into the country’s leader in AI, with applications from big data analysis to autonomous driving, after tighter government control in internet advertising hurt its revenues.
To be sure, Beijing airport isn’t the first test of Baidu’s technology. A similar application is at work at the Jiangying airport at the Henan provincial city of Nanyang, allowing passengers to verify their identities through facial scans against documented images before boarding their flights.
Baidu has been pushing the application of its facial recognition technology for a while, touting its industry-leading accuracy. The tech giant says its facial recognition technology is up to 99.77 per cent accurate, that is able to distinguish people even better than the human eye.
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