AI system allows mass screenings of body temperatures

The worldwide coronavirus out is opening the door for the development and use of powerful new surveillance technology.

One company that develops artificial intelligence systems says as coronavirus concerns grow, it has a significant upgrade to one of its monitoring products to allow for thermal detection, including body temperature detection, for high traffic areas.

Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings says it allows for non-contact fever screening, which it says is more efficient and faster than manual methods and reduces the risk of cross-contamination from human contact

The upgrade includes improved facial recognition capabilities to include being able to identify people wearing protective masks.  

The company says increased body temperature is a common symptom that allows for early detection of flu and other contagious diseases where widespread transmission is a concern.

It has previously deployed the system to monitor students within the school system in Hangzhou, China for early flu detection.


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Kai-Shing Tao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Remark Holdings says, "We now see an opportunity to expand our health and safety capabilities to retail stores and areas with high traffic."

While technology like this can be effective in the battle of disease, there are long term implications with its deployment.

Privacy experts were alarmed when Hong Kong authorities banned the wearing of face masks in one of their efforts to end protests.  As this technology is deployed, it may not matter anymore.  Governments will be able to track and identify people with or without masks and even collect other biometric data without the citizen's consent.