Tech UPTechnologyCoronavirus: This AI detects people without a mask

Coronavirus: This AI detects people without a mask

To stop the coronavirus, technology is being the great ally. A few days ago we talked about how Chinese officials were using drones to warn citizens to wear masks or to return home to comply with the quarantine.

An application has also been launched by the Chinese government that collects data from different agencies and allows to find out if any inhabitant of the country has been close to an infected person.

Tech companies are also helping to combat the problem. This is the case of Baidu, the Chinese Google. Baidu began as a search engine and today it is one of the most important conglomerates of companies and digital services in the Asian territory.

The firm has launched an open source artificial intelligence model that can detect those who do not wear masks and are not adequately protecting themselves from the spread of the virus. Being open source, it is possible that anyone can improve the system or provide it with new features by working on it.

Nearly 100% certain

Baidu says it has tested its technology with more than 100,000 images and has achieved great precision. His percentage of success in identifying people without a mask would reach 96.5% . Thus, it can be a fairly accurate instrument for the Chinese administration when it comes to monitoring the population in spaces such as shopping centers, train or bus stations, busy streets, etc.

One of the biggest problems that China was encountering is that it was very difficult for it to know which people were not complying with the obligation to wear the masks in large human concentrations or crowded places.

Baidu’s solution, which can be improved by other developers or companies, is also going to be very useful at the corporate level . During these days and after the Chinese New Year holidays, many factories and companies in China have resumed their work. For them it can also be very useful in order to know which employees are complying with their safety and security recommendations.

This has not been the only contribution of ‘Chinese Google’ to fight against COVID-19. A few weeks ago , Baidu, together with the e-commerce colossus Alibaba, offered artificial intelligence models – also in open source – to universities and medical centers so that they could improve the prediction times of the RNA structure of the virus.

Startups also contribute

Other ICT companies outside the Chinese giant are working on technologies of this type. Among them is SenseTime . This Chinese startup, which would be one of the most economically valued AI-centric startups on the planet, has also launched a system that can detect people who don’t wear masks in public places.

This is just one of the functionalities of your proposal. Among other things, they have also integrated thermal imaging cameras to be able to know which people have a high body temperature and issue alerts. In addition, the technology is so precise that it can even recognize individuals despite wearing a mask.


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