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A creepy surveillance start-up backed by the Chinese government is expanding its artificial intelligence-powered face-reading operations.
Beijing firm Megvii has announced it is shifting its powerful Face++ facial recognition technology beyond China after securing a distributor in Thailand.
Megvii - Face++ - Technology - AI - People
Megvii's world-leading Face++ technology uses AI to identify people by their facial features, allowing police to spy on 'anyone, anywhere' without them knowing.
The software has already been used by Chinese police departments to arrest more than 3,000 fugitives by instantly scanning crowds of thousands in busy cities.
Company - Software - Uses - Law - Enforcement
The company says its software has many potential uses beyond law enforcement, including in financial services, retail, and identity verification.
Worth an estimated £1.5 billion ($2 billion) according to Business Insider, Megvii announced recently it had appointed a distributor in Thailand.
Tsinghua - University - Talks - Banks - Building
The start-up - founded by three Tsinghua University graduates in 2011 - is in talks with commercial banks and building managers to deploy its facial recognition software.
Buildings that incorporate the technology could do away with ID cards by instead having Face++ scan people's faces as they enter the premises.
Megvii - Discussions - State - Governments - Banks
Megvii is also holding initial discussions with state governments and banks in Malaysia, according to representatives at the Techsauce Global Summit in Bangkok.
Megvii is also expanding its operations in China, where the company forms a central pillar of the government's plans to make the country a world leader in AI and to develop an AI industry worth £110 billion ($150 billion) by 2030.
Officials - Plans - Surveillance - Network - Citizens
Officials have big plans to develop a nation-wide surveillance network can monitor its 1.4 billion citizens.
Smartphone giant Vivo, based in the city of Dongguan in China's Guangdong province, recently announced it had struck a long-term deal with Megvii.
Companies - Industry - Systems - Payment - Authentication
The companies will combine their industry might to develop new face-reading systems for smartphone payment authentication and camera 3D portrait lighting.
At last week's Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, the pair showed off...
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