Camera-based facial recognition is finding growing favour within corporate South Africa as a way to fairly and accurately manage employee attendance in the workplace.

“For many of us, facial recognition is becoming our first exposure to the growing phenomenon of Artificial Intelligence (AI),” says Laurence Seberini, co-founder of Camatica, a local start-up specialising in facial recognition for business.

Seberini explains that travelers and shoppers are already being scanned for their safety by state-of-the-art optics at airports, retail stores and other public places where citizens’ safety could be compromised by repeat troublemakers worthy of attention.

In the workplace, however, facial recognition takes on a decidedly more positive tone.

Camera-based AI in the corporate world can be used to reward stellar employee attendance. “Employers love consistent good performance by valuable employees. However, excellent attendance at work is often missed by HR departments when outdated clocking-in systems are used,” says Seberini.

Used responsibly by HR professionals, facial recognition systems can also more rapidly pick up instances where intervention is needed to help an employee overcome personal challenges that may be affecting work attendance.

Seberini’s Johannesburg-based firm has developed a range of AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence) facial recognition solutions specifically-designed for different business sectors including retail, transportation and human resources.

To get the best out of facial recognition technology, Seberini advises South African businesses to draft equitable policies and procedures that formalise AI’s role in the workplace sooner rather than later. Of course, this should be done in consultation with all stakeholders and never unilaterally-implemented. Most importantly, and as is commonly seen with employee email and Internet usage, staff must always be aware AI is in use.

“We specialise in facial recognition with a purpose. Camera-centred AI can make a huge positive difference in the HR environment by rewarding excellent behaviour and bringing certainty to attendance, eliminating potential issues later on,” Seberini adds.