SHANGHAI, Mar. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - The team at Ping An Technology Co. Ltd. has recently made a significant breakthrough in the development of their artificial intelligence face recognition technology. Many prestigious international companies in the face recognition technology sector have already published test results confirming an accuracy rate of around 99.5%. However, the Ping An Technology Face Recognition Team, having tested their Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) technology following the unrestricted with labeled outside data protocol, attained a verified result of 0.9960+/-0.0031.
This technology has been developed by several teams at Ping An, including the researchers at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Ping An's data platform development team. As early as 2013, Ping An began to undertake preliminary research in the field. A year later, in 2014, Ping An Technology established its own artificial intelligence laboratory, which began to study face recognition algorithms and the associated core technology in greater depth. The team's priority is to deepen its understanding of the technology's potential, and is responsible for the group's business strategy, which includes the development of artificial vision, solving the problem of natural language use in machines, and the research and development of artificial awareness towards unfamiliar objects and environments.
At present, human eye recognition is limited to 97.53% accuracy. In 2016, having undergone extensive testing procedures, Ping An Technology's face recognition technology attained an accuracy level of more than 99%. Furthermore, Ping An technology needed only a year to progress through the stages of core technology research, product development and engineering, testing and implementation, and finally, integration of the technology at a business level. At present, the technology has been utilized in 108 different settings and scenarios, and has been used to facially recognize more than 103 million users.
Liu Fei, Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence at Ping An Technology, explains that the face does not contain stable biological characteristics. Factors such as age and makeup affect the accuracy and precision of face recognition. However, thanks to the immense amount of data Ping An systems have previously accumulated, the self-optimizing framework of the Ping An face recognition technology can now cope with the effects of ageing, and as long as adequate photographical evidence is provided, even identical twins can be individually identified.
Due to the failure of industry regulations to keep up, the constraints of traditional norms and standards, as well as artificial intelligence itself being a relatively new concept, many of the existing technological advancements have still not been made available for release. Liu, the chief scientist, says that in the Ping An Artificial Intelligence Technology Laboratory, scientists are still focused on reducing the time needed to complete the facial recognition process of human micro-expressions down to 30 milliseconds, while developing the emotional judgment and decision making ability of artificial intelligence. "There is still a long way to go, but the technology has progressed significantly over the past few years. It is still being developed, but the development process is progressing quickly."
In addition to the exploration of face recognition algorithms, Ping An Technology has also developed the capability to mine huge amounts of data. The success of these two projects has not been achieved overnight.
Ping An began to focus on data management four years ago, a time when data and its management was an extremely popular topic. Xiao Jing, Chief Director of Ping An Technology Big Data Department, said, "Previously data was stored in different isolated locations. The data was decentralized and lacked cohesion and coordination, and this resulted in data having minimal value and use. For example, when trying to accurately identify instances of fraud, there was no way to logically analyze or utilize the data from all the different locations."
"Artificial intelligence technology only exists because of data, as without data there is no artificial intelligence. In relation to the financial industry, we have already entered a period in which artificial intelligence has huge influence, and this subsequently gives data the highest of values."
Ping An Technology was established in 2008, and was the Ping An Group's vehicle for progression in the IT sector, specifically focusing on the use of science and technology within the finance sector. Nowadays, the technology arm is autonomous and possesses the decision-making power and ability to take the initiative and utilize the most advanced Artificial Intelligence technology to generate further value for the company. Liu explains, "The establishment of artificial intelligence laboratories to develop the understanding of this field demonstrates it is not too late. In relation to the development of human talent, the investment in infrastructure has not been small. We have also undertaken extensive research into large GPU computing clusters, in order to develop our own computing platform."
Ping An Group already possesses all the relevant financial industry licenses, and Ping An Technology is regarded as a market leader in creating technological products. Its artificial intelligence technology has already been utilized in several core areas of the financial industry including credit reporting, risk control, fraud identification, market investment analysis, and even in the recently prominent precision marketing area. Outside of the finance sector, the technology can also be applied to assist in providing accurate medical treatment, and can even be used to calculate personalized insurance premiums.
In the field of graphics and imagery, the application of face recognition technology is regarded as a relatively advanced development of artificial intelligence, with many people already admiring its capabilities and achievements. Liu, the chief scientist, has a somewhat different take on where he sees the technology in the development trajectory: "Artificial intelligence will create a phenomenon of change and development across all industries, but thus far we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Before the existence of artificial intelligence, we were unable to develop some aspects of the online financial industry. Now we possess this technology, we can develop these aspects in a safe, secure, and controlled environment. This transformation should help industries to not only exist, but thrive and flourish for many decades to come."
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