The Future of Facial Recognition and AI in 2019 and Beyond

Facial recognition software was first developed a half-century ago by scientists Woody Bledsoe, Helen Chan Wolf, and Charles Bisson.  It is no surprize that, since the 1960ss, FR technology has come a long way.  In today’s technology-centric world, facial recognition (FR) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been steadily influencing the development of numerous industries – such as retail, security, and transportation.

In its most recent applications, AI is changing how we can identify human traits that, at one time, only another human would be able to detect.  For example, AI systems can recognize more than faces, with some software applications going to far as to be able to infer a person’s sexuality and IQ.

In this article, we will explore how AI and facial recognition will influence different industries in 2019 and beyond.

What is the Facial Recognition Mechanism?

The Facial Recognition (FR) Mechanism refers to a branch of artificial intelligence that merges two fields: computer vision and the psychology of perception. The FR mechanism works by measuring 80 nodal points on the human face.  In this context, nodal points refer to the distances of- or between- facial features, such as the width of the nose, the depth of the eyes, or the distance from the nose to the upper lip.

Using the 80 nodal points the FR software creates a unique tag for that individual, called a faceprint.  The AI network then compares the faceprint across a database of individuals to verify the person’s identity.   The probability of error for the most accurate facial recognition systems is less than 8 in 1,000.

What Countries are the Leaders in AI and Facial Recognition?

As of 2019, the leaders in AI and face recognition technology are China, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Canada. While applications of facial recognition are mainly in the planning stages for most countries, this group of five leaders already have AI and facial recognition software in-use on a grand scale and are developing cutting-edge technology to solve problems across numerous industries.

China’s Facial Recognition and AI Developments

Aiming to have the highest number of facial recognition cameras out of any other country, China has over 170 million facial recognition cameras called closed-circuit television cameras, or simply CCTV.  Over the next few years, China plans to install another 400 million CCTV cameras across the country, making it the largest surveillance system in the world.


FR as a Crime Deterrent. China is using specialized CCTV cameras as a deterrent to traffic violations and other crimes.  In addition to using CCTV cameras, police offices also use smart glasses to help identify criminals. The CCTV cameras have also been used to deter jaywalkers, by broadcasting jaywalkers’ photos on a LED billboard.

Use of AI in Healthcare. In China, Artificial Intelligence is present in the healthcare sector as an aid to patients, nurses, and doctors.  For instance, Tencent has developed an AI solution to track when patients are taking their medicine, as well as to help diagnose cancer. Another application of AI in the healthcare field is the use of AI and facial recognition to identify rare genetic disorders.

FR as a Payment Method. In China, facial recognition and AI is also being used to bypass using a credit card or cash to pay. At KFC, for instance, customers can pay by smiling into a self-serve screen that uses a 3-D camera to scan each customer’s face to validate their identity.  Some banks are even going so far as to allow customers to use facial recognition instead of bank cards.

Japan’s Facial Recognition Developments

In Japan, facial recognition has been applied to enhance the car industry, the Olympics, and even to improve worker productivity.

Subaru’s Forrester SUV. The Japanese car manufacturing company Subaru has installed facial recognition cameras into their Forrester SUVs. Using the FR cameras, the SUVs can predict when a driver is fatigued or about to fall asleep and can act to prevent an accident.

Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Facial recognition will be used to tag athletes and media personnel, to grant easy security clearance. The goal of using facial recognition is to heighten security.  So, how effective is FR for security clearance? Facial recognition is more accurate at identifying human faces than a security guard verifying an ID card, which may be fake.

Employee Productivity. In Japan, facial recognition software has been used to monitor the expressions of employees, to see if they are tired or falling asleep.  If employees show signs of drowsiness, a cold blast of air fills the room.

Other Applications of FR in Japan. In Japan, cameras powered with AI technology have also been used to catch shoplifters, verify employees for security clearance, and more.

The United Arab Emirates and Facial Recognition

The UAE has used facial recognition and AI technology mainly for security, by the government and the police department.

Airport Security. Facial Recognition cameras powered with AI have been installed in airports to examine passengers.  The AI-equipped cameras identify criminals and people who have a history with law enforcement.

FR Cameras in Police Cars. Though still in the testing phase, the UAE has started using police cars equipped with facial recognition cameras.The cameras are used to identify wanted individuals and wanted vehicles as the police vehicles patrol the streets.

Other Applications of AI. The United Arab Emirates are currently developing AI and face recognition systems to be used in criminal investigations. The technology is scheduled to be available as early as 2010.

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The United States and Facial Recognition  

In the United States, the development of facial recognition and AI technology is progressing, though at a more moderate pace. Currently, most large-scale applications of AI technology are still in the planning stages. However, the US’s large police databases provide large data sets on which to train facial recognition systems. In 2016 over 50% of the adult American population was registered in the police database. These data sets allow AI companies to train their AI networks more thoroughly.

As of today, AI technology is mainly used in the United States by the government, for security purposes.

Airport & Transportation Security. Many US airports use face-scanning to verify travelers’ identities. An AI-powered security system called a biometric exit system is currently used to track individuals without visas who are leaving the US.

Future Applications of AI in the US.  Currently, the US plans to use facial recognition cameras at Mexican border crossings to scan vehicles and peoples’ faces.

Canada and Artificial Intelligence

According to an article published by Forbes, Canada is positioned to win the global race in developing Artificial Intelligence. Canada is considered a front-runner because of its long history of working with artificial neural networks, combined with its ability to attract top talent and secure funding for AI research and development.

Furthermore, Canada has access to large amounts of data sets for several industries, including the health sector, the energy sector, and the transportation sector. Large data sets enable AI researchers to train their networks on a large amount of data, enabling more accurate processing systems.

Here are some developments in AI technology in Canada:

AI for Legal Documents. ROSS Intelligence is currently developing the world’s smartest lawyer.  The Toronto-based company has applied artificial intelligence to read legal documents, using machine learning, and it can recognize the context, syntax, and meaning of legal documents, thereby providing answers to legal questions.

AI for Cybersecurity. In Canada, artificial intelligence is being applied to detect cybersecurity threats earlier on.  The AI technology can also be used to identify people involved, as well as to assess which assets are at risk. 

AI for Drug Discovery. In Canada, various biomedical companies are using AI to help discover new drugs. In some cases, pharma companies are using AI to find antibodies, which speeds up the drug discovery process. AI is also being used to personalize what medicine patients are given, based on their immune system.

AI for Enterprises. In Canada, AI is being used to make businesses run more efficiently. For example, an AI network has been developed to monitor workplace morale by applying AI to a company’s internal communication system. AiDANT has also developed AI software to monitor worker productivity, to detect inefficiencies, and to act as an AI-powered alternative to security cameras.

AI for Retailers. In Canada, AI is primarily used in the retail industry to improve customer experience. One such example is of e-commerce companies adopting chatbots to help online shoppers. Another innovation is the use of AI-enabled cameras to monitor shoppers’ behaviour.

What is the Future of AI and Facial Recognition?

In the coming years, facial recognition and AI technology are expected to disrupt four industries: retail and sales/ marketing, security and law enforcement, the health sector, and transportation stations. However, as the applications of AI and facial recognition expand, many more industries will be adopting the new technology.

While AI has the power to disrupt numerous industries, studies have shown that the highest impact will be to the retail sector. According to a 2018 study by Capgemini, AI will save retailers up to $340 billion annually by the year 2022.

For retailers to beat the competition, it is crucial that they adopt technology to predict consumer behavior.  Adopting AI technology has four primary benefits for retailers:

Increased Customer Spending.  By identifying consumer behaviours, AI can help streamline the sales funnel, leading to more sales. For example, a company called Fluid AI has integrated AI with their email marketing campaigns.  The software can pick up on behaviours that indicate when the consumer is more likely to convert. When a consumer is in a buying mood, they will automatically receive a promotional email, leading to more conversions.

Increased Customer Loyalty. Research has shown that 49% of customers return to an online location (such as a website) if it uses AI.  By increasing customer loyalty, it aids with cost-savings.  For instance, it is 25 times less expensive to retain a customer than to acquire a new customer.

Increased Convenience for Customers. In the next few years, facial recognition technology will begin to replace credit cards and cash as a method of payment. AI-enabled voice detection technology will also allow customers to converse with AI bots either online on in the store.

Increased Trust in Brands. Businesses adopting AI know the importance of protecting user privacy. As a result, organizations who use AI technology are putting more effort toward building client trust, through enhanced transparency and security.

In conclusion, AI and FR technology will be used by numerous verticals in 2019 and beyond. The market for AI-powered cameras and software was worth $2.37 billion in 2017. What’s more, it is projected to be worth $25.32 billion by 2023.

AiDANT and The Future of AI

Based out of Canada, AiDANT offers innovative business solutions for numerous industries. AiDANT technology is capable of both facial recognition and behavioural recognition – the next giant step in AI and recognition technology. As a customizable solution, each business can choose what behaviours and events they want to track and AiDANT will respond autonomously, creating reports and sending notifications according to the rules set out by each organization.


Are you interested in the latest innovations in computer science, including AI-powered recognition technology and artificial intelligence (AI)? Follow AiDANT on social media to watch the future of facial recognition and AI technology unfold.

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