CHINA is using a network of artificial intelligence cameras to find anyone with a fever in its latest bid to tackle the coronavirus.
The country’s Ministry of Industry called on AI companies to help fight the outbreak this week, with many responding how useful their technologies could be. China is using artificial intelligence companies to help crack the coronavirus Credit: Getty – companies have shared how their systems can scan the streets for people with fevers and even recognise their faces when wearing a mask. If someone with coronavirus boards a train in China the railway’s “real name” system can list the people sitting nearby.
Mobile apps can also alert people if they have shared a train or flight with someone who has the killer bug. Maps can also point out where people with the virus live. And now, AI companies are also getting involved.
Facial recognition firm Megvii claims its new ‘AI temperature measurement system’ can use thermal cameras to detect a fever, using body and face data to identify individuals. Another leading AI company, SenseTime, says its tech can identify people wearing face masks. Another firm claims it can detect fevers to within an accuracy of 0.3ºC using infrared cameras.
Epidemiologist Li Lanjuan said: “In the era of big data and internet, the flow of each person can be clearly seen. “With such new technologies, we should make full use of them to find the source of infection and contain the source of infection.”
Zhu Jiansheng of the China Academy of Railway Sciences explained how technology will also be used to track people with coronavirus on trains.
He said: “We will retrieve relevant information about the passenger, including the train number, carriage number and information on passengers who were close to the person, such as people sitting three rows of seats before and after the person.”
“We will extract the information and then provide it to relevant epidemic prevention departments.”
How tech can support a fairer future for work for everyone
New research by Doteveryone explains why we need to reform the gig economy and offers advice on what the best practice, responsible tech approach to gig work might look like. Relocate Editorial 6 February 2020 Responsible technology think tank Doteveryone is calling on the UK government to develop and enforce a Minimum Gig Wage that accounts for the costs of doing gig work and for platforms to give workers the data they need to plan for their financial futures.
In its new report, Better Work in the Gig Economy Doteveryone collaborated with gig workers to formulate ideas about how to create better work in the gig economy and meet the needs of those who are most disadvantaged by this type of work.
Jacob Ohrvik-Stott, senior researcher at Doteveryone says, “We wanted to give a platform to these people who depend on the gig economy to live – the workers who get most of the downsides of the gig economy, with few of the benefits.”Factors affecting gig workers include financial instability, low pay, unpaid hours waiting for gigs, and problems with apps and algorithms.
Recommendations for fairer gig working Over seven months, Doteveryone shadowed Uber drivers in Stoke-on-Trent, interviewed micro-taskers, cycle couriers, handymen and cleaners, and travelled to Copenhagen for the 2019 TechFestival to champion workers’ ideas for change. From this research, it has proposed long-term policy change and has prototyped best practice for platforms to implement these changes immediately.
Mr Ohrvik-Stott adds, “The recommendations meet the needs of those most disadvantaged, and in doing so, they serve everyone.”The report champions three pillars of better work:
- Financial security – the Government should create a minimum gig wage that accounts for the unavoidable costs of being a platform worker. Platforms should provide greater data transparency to help workers navigate their finances and show customers where their money goes.
- Dignity – companies should create governance structures that give workers a greater voice in the design of platforms they work for. Platforms should also provide access to human interaction to solve workers’ questions or help them seek redress.
- Dreams – the Government’s National Retraining Scheme [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-retraining-scheme/national-retraining-scheme], set up to address the expected impacts of automation on the economy, should be adapted to provide the holistic support that gig workers need now. And Help Hotspots would provide a broad range of drop-in support for people in locations and times that fit into gig workers’ daily lives.