Government surveillance isn’t so bad, not when facial recognition software gives rise to the most adorable means of identification: dog nose prints. Or is it worse, because now the good boys and girls aren’t really free either?
A Chinese AI startup, named Megvii, supplies facial recognition software for the Chinese government and now they’re expanding their invasive reach to include facial recognition for dogs, via their unique nose prints. It works like a fingerprint reader; you just scan your dog’s snoot, via the app and your phone’s camera, and they’re forever registered in the system.
According to Megvii, they have a 95% accuracy rate and have reunited 15,000 lost pets with their owners. It’s sort of like an alternative to the microchip ID. However, if you thought the app was just for reuniting lost dogs with their owners, you haven’t been paying much attention.
Since this is the Chinese government we’re talking about, the app will also be used to monitor “uncivilised dog keeping” and to fine owners that don’t adhere to the rules of public dog wrangling. In certain cities, dogs can only be walked in public if they are on a lead, wear a muzzle, and have an ID tag. The police are offering free leads, muzzles, tags, and poop scoops to encourage responsible pet ownership. Guilty owners could be charged fines up to 1,000 yuan (around R2,000).