Hong Kong researchers build tool to predict personal details from photos on social media

November 29, 2017
Industry News
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Raymond Yeung
raymond.yeung@scmp.com

Team from University of Science and Technology says system can predict consumer behaviour

Researchers at a Hong Kong university have developed technology that can predict details about social media users by analysing the pictures they share online, without accessing their personal or sensitive information.

The tool, they say, will help to better predict consumer behaviour and tailor advertisements to specific users.

The researchers, from the University of Science and Technology, claim their algorithm is up to 60 per cent more accurate than similar prediction tools.

The technology, already employed in food and lifestyle mobile apps, could be further developed to make pre-emptive recommendations based on health and consumer patterns, the researchers said.

The team dismissed privacy concerns for the tool, insisting all data would be collected in the public domain or with the users’ consent.

The implications of using “big data”, referring to the vast amounts of information posted online each day, has become a buzzword amid the government’s push to develop Hong Kong into a smart city.

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