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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
July 07, 2021.

AI protects the slumber of Chinese youth

Two Chinese brothers playing multiplayer online games.

© iStock.

Tencent, the big Chinese multinational technology firm, is starting to use facial recognition to prevent children from playing after bedtime. Video game regulation is strict in China to protect the sleep of young people and fight against gaming addiction. It is officially forbidden for those under 18 to play video games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Also, minors can’t play video games more than 90 minutes a day. But teens are quick to get around this kind of injunction. That’s why Tencent is deploying technology that’s more effective than a government ban. Its system requires players to confirm their identity through facial recognition in order to continue playing mobile games after 10 p.m. If the identity doesn’t match that of a registered adult, the game gets turned off. So far, the feature is enabled in sixty Tencent mobile games, including Honor of Kings and Game for Peace, but it will eventually extend to others. This new device, dubbed the “Night Patrol”, doesn’t elicit much enthusiasm in young people, and it raises fears about the wider use of identification data.

PC Gamer, Steven Messner, “Tencent is now using facial recognition to stop children in China from gaming all night.”



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