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Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma makes a presentation during the official opening of the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover March 15, 2015. The world's biggest computer and software fair will open to the public from March 16 to 20. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS) - RTR4TG5U

Does it sound good that you can pay things by just smiling?

At IFA in Germany two years ago, Jack Ma, the president of Alibaba, one of two largest e-commerce companies in the world, talked about his company’s new payment technology. By using this application, all you have to do is just showing off your face in front of the camera of your phone for the scanning that is processed in no more than one second. I was impressed by Jack Ma’s performance so I want to point out some of pros and cons of this new technology in my point of view.

The first thing needed to mention is the convenience of this method. Instead of filling out the information on credit/debit card that you have to carry out in your wallet all the time with the worry of being stolen, the facial recognition machine can catch your face that is always with you, helping you save time and easing the boringness of keeping important things besides you. Second, the users will be in good mood after the payment by smiling, the point here is the positive emotional impact of this technology on people, meaning that the user experience will be improved.

On the other hand, as the development of machine learning which can fake everything from human voice to face, the mass application of facial recognition in the consumer market may contain some serious drawbacks. It is possible that one day you realize the money in your account has been used out by unknown people with the same face as yours. Furthermore, the company that collects user information can use it for bad purposes or the government can buy the information from the company then use it for political purposes. By these reasons, the user privacy will be put at risk in the future.

Author: Anh Nguyen