'I needed to collect a huge amount of data to set up an artificial intelligence that can detect multiple faces at a time. It took two months'
A local software engineer has developed a software using artificial intelligence that can detect, on video, people without face masks.
Faizul Haque Nayan, software engineer at DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Limited, developed the software on his own time to help identify people breaching health guidelines, so as to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Initially, the software was used on a personal computer with a portable webcam. Faizul is now developing the software for use with CCTV cameras and Android phones, he told Dhaka Tribune.
“I needed to collect a huge amount of data to set up an artificial intelligence that can detect multiple faces at a time. It took two months,” Faizul said.
“Anyone can use this software or application by installing it on any personal device. It may cost Tk1 lakh each to use the licensed copy. I will charge only a minimum as part of my social responsibility, and it could be used at religious institutions such as mosques,” he added.
Arrangements can be made if government approvals are needed, he said.
The Bangladeshi health authorities have made wearing masks mandatory as part of their health guidelines for the Covid-19 pandemic.The face mask detection software can detect people with or without masks.
“The software will make implementation of the government initiative easy by identifying people without masks. It is ideal for installation at the entry points of mass gathering areas such as garments factories, offices, or mosques, said Faizul.
Faizul also said if health authorities recorded Covid-19 patients roaming outside of isolation, any CCTV camera linked to the software can detect him and send a notification to the central control centre. The software is integrated with the Election Commission database, through which anyone’s face can be recognized using their national identity card picture.
“If the government wants to adopt it, I will cooperate and develop it in a way where it can be useful,” Faizul said.