Original article was published on artificial intelligence
The usage of face masks has been controversial for the majority of the Covid-19 outbreak, with much confusion as to whether they are actually useful or not, however, recently there has been much push for using non-medical face masks to reduce the spread of the virus. As many governments around the world move to ease lockdowns as the spread of the virus slows down, the popular taxi service, Uber, has stated that all drivers in the United States, Mexico, Canada, India, and many countries in Europe, Africa and Latin America, must wear a mask while they are operating their service starting from Monday (May 18th).
To ensure that Uber’s drivers comply with this rule, the firm has turned to artificial intelligence. When new drivers attempt to restart their driving service with the app, they are asked to take a selfie which is passed through an artificial intelligence which checks for a worn mask. Though this is a good system to ensure that no under-protected individual starts transporting individuals, which could lead to easy spreading of regional outbreaks, Uber concedes that they are unable to use facial recognition to check if the selfie uploaded is actually of the driver himself or of someone else. As scary as it may sound, the technology for that is not out of reach with Uber having done live facial confirmation before in another system called the “Real-Time ID Check” system, which was a system to confirm whether the person behind the wheel is the same person as the Uber profile.