South Korea using AI-powered facial recognition to identify Covid cases

South Korea using AI-powered facial recognition to identify Covid cases

By analysing CCTV camera footage.

By on

South Korea will be using an AI-based biometric face recognition system using CCTV cameras to identify coronavirus-infected citizens.

Bucheon, near Seoul, will be the first city to test the Covid-19 virus identification system.

The system will analyse this footage and track the movements of infected citizens, including those who are wearing masks. 

The system will start operating from January, with more than 10,000 CCTV cameras taking footage from across the region.

A spokesperson from Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology said the new technology aims to reduce the workload of tracing teams manually tracking footage of a city with more than 800,000 people.

Korea currently uses a high-tech contact tracing system using credit card records, cellphone location data, along with manual CCTV footage, which may not be ideal or accurate.

The Bucheon official said the new system can also help reduce the strain on overworked tracing workers in the city.

The government in Korea has been planning to find more effective preventive measures to help track and prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

Posting on Twitter, Bucheon mayor Jang Deog-cheon said: "It sometimes takes hours to analyse a single CCTV footage.

"Using visual recognition technology will enable that analysis in an instant."

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