Rostelecom Group subsidiary Netris and NtechLab have agreed to a partnership to add face recognition to cameras deployed to Netris' smart city customers. NtechLab’s FindFace biometric algorithm is now up and running on 250 video streams from Tyumen city surveillance cameras.
NtechLab & FindFace
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Moscow already has more than 150,000 cameras monitoring its 12 million population. Now the authorities look to augment the monitoring systems with AI. These systems are aimed at identifying suspicious actions: someone very quickly waving his arms, running, grabbing an object that resembles a weapon. Moscow’s face recognition start-up Ntechlab is the frontrunner to deliver services to the mass surveillance programme that is underway.
NtechLab’s CEO Alex Minin discusses the possibilities of the implementation of recognition technologies in the cities of the future. “There is no way to abandon or avoid facial recognition. The police force is costly and does not bring added value, so ideally, the ration policemen/general population should be as low as possible. We pay for the police force, so let’s minimise it. If they have the right tools, this can be done” - he told Sputnik.
Major Russian airports are already testing face recognition algorithms, including the FindFace technology of NtechLab, while the large-scale system rollout may take up to eighteen months, NtechLab’s CEO Alex Minin told TASS.
Founded in 2015, Russian startup NtechLab has taken in $ 1.5 million in funding to develop a client-side facial recognition solution where no biometric data is transferred or stored by the company. Their service not only verifies or identifies faces, but recognizes age, gender, and emotions. The company’s algorithms received praise in Washington in 2017, winning the first-ever facial recognition competition devised by the R&D team run by the Director of National Intelligence. With 2,000 customers globally including the UK, US, and China, NtechLab’s technology is used in public safety, dating, security, banking, retail, entertainment, and events organization. We sat down to talk with NtechLab’s CEO, Alex Minin, to learn about how NtechLab is going head to head with Chinese computer vision startups that have taken in hundreds of millions in funding.
NtechLab, a Russian software developer of neural networks and machine learning, created an emotion recognition algorithm that can detect emotions by analyzing your face. According to the startup, the solution can be adapted to different markets and industries, including media and entertainment — for example, to test a new advertisement to learn what kind of reaction it caused in focus groups.
NtechLab has placed second in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST's) Activity Extended Video (ActEV) Prize Challenge for its use of artificial intelligence for activity detection. The company plans to apply the technology to products for industrial, pharmaceutical, and smart city sectors, as well as security systems.
This year, Moscow will join a growing number of global cities whose populations are monitored by AI-enabled facial recognition programs. Now Russia’s artificial-intelligence development companies will vie for the chance to have their programs run the show. Among the top contenders for the job is NtechLab, an AI startup whose FindFace face recognition technology won IARPA’s Face Recognition Challenge Prize in 2017. The following year, it was deployed for the World Cup, and supposedly uncovered property theft and prevented other crimes.