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Facial age estimation

Posted by Flux on 

2 October 2022

What’s trending?
Technology has made it possible, using AI, to estimate one’s age through facial analysis. French social media start-up Yubo, where young people congregate and play games, is about to verify the age of all its users. Using digital identity platform Yoti’s age estimation technology, users are asked to scan their faces. The technology verifies someone’s age with 98.9% accuracy. “By continually applying new safety measures, such as mandatory age verification, to our platform, we are taking a clear stance that we are willing to drive away a portion of new users in order to prioritise making Yubo as safe as it can possibly be,” said co-founder and CEO Sacha Lazimi. Another company using Yoti’s technology, German-owned Aldi, is using facial age estimation to sell alcohol, cigarettes and other age-restricted products in their new no-checkout supermarket in the UK.

Why is it important? 
Predators who target children on social media are a real threat. Digital facial age estimation is a safeguard against those who lie about their age, putting themselves – or others at risk. This technology can also be used to prevent minors from buying products and services they are not yet old enough to access. Supermarket self-service terminals are becoming more commonplace, so the need for digital age verification of customers buying alcohol, for example, is increasing. “Retailers have been pushing for age verification technology for years because it’s helpful, cheaper and easier than a human checking a person’s age,” said a spokesperson from the British Retail Consortium. 

What can businesses do about it?
Businesses that require age verification should consider using this technology to prevent instances where minors are illegally buying their product. There could be extensive reputational damage for a business caught serving minors, even more so, if the child ends up getting hurt in some way. The Enyobeni tavern tragedy is an extreme example of this, where alcohol was sold to minors leading to the death of 21 kids. Clubs, bars and taverns would do well to consider using this technology. On social media, apps like this could lead to a loss of new accounts. But  putting safety first is an incentive for users to sign up – with potentially positive financial outcomes. 

By Faeeza Khan

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Image credit: Rawpixel

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