Chinese AI startup

Megvi which is a Chinese AI startup that supplies facial recognition software for the Chinese government’s surveillance program. The company has decided to expand its technology beyond humans to recognize different faces of pets. If you are a dog lover then it might be great news for you as the company is now in the process of making a biometric recognition for animals, according to the abacus news. 

Instead of scanning the whole face of the dog it only focuses on a single feature of the dog which is Nose. The technology is mainly based on the idea that dogs are discernable by their nose prints, similar to how smartphones or law enforcement agencies use fingerprints to identify humans. Unlike the most prevalent identification method of chip implants, Megvii says nose printing is cheaper and less invasive.

Kennel clubs around the world have already registered nose prints to locate lost or stolen dogs. One traditional method of taking a nose prin is through coating the nose with ink and pressing it against white cardboard. However, the Chinese AI startup Megvi’s method does not require smearing your dog snout. You just have to point your phone’s camera at the nose and the system would be able to locate key identifying markers, creating a unique profile of your dog in the database.

Also, it would need the high-resolution images of your dog’s nose. The company claims that by using this method it can verify a dog’s identity against an existing record with 95% accuracy. It also says that the system could use to identify a dog with “high precision” by checking it against records from a larger database, although the company didn’t elaborate on the accuracy rate in that scenario. Although the idea of using AI is not new, a smartphone app called Finding Rover uses facial recognition to help locate lost dogs.

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The app was based on a machine learning algorithm developed at the University of Utah. It collects photos of missing dogs from pet owners, the images are then matched against a database of dogs found by shelters or other app users. The founder says that so far more than 15000 pets have been reunited with their owners. Furthermore, Megvii says besides identifying lost pets, the technology can also be used by authorities to monitor “uncivilized dog keeping.”

It is a term used in China to explain behavior like walking a dog without a leash or failing to scoop up dog poop. Chinese urban area is home to more than 91 million pet dogs and cats, as per a pet industry report. Pet owners have been criticized for not looking after their pets or letting them roam around unrestrained. This behavior has forced local governments to impose strict regulations.

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