ID-Locked Alcohol Fridges Go Viral on TikTok, Sparking Concerns
Sightings of ID-locked alcohol fridges have gone viral on TikTok, sparking concerns amidst the suspected rise of facial recognition technology in our day-to-day lives.
TikTok user Michelle Kimball posted a now-viral video detailing a sighting of these fridges at her local QuikTrip gas station.
To open the fridges, Kimball explains that customers need to insert their ID into a machine which then scans their face to ensure a “match.” If users are of age and their face matches the ID, an on-screen prompt allows customers to open one of several numbered fridges.
Comments under the video were mixed:
“I don’t think I would put my ID in something like that you don’t know if it keeps the information and if it’s gonna get misplaced somehow”
“The way I would just leave and go to another store bc I have social anxiety”
Another user chimed in:
“I work for QT. We started doing this because of how much money we lose from people stealing cases of beer!”
In May 2022, QuickTrip announced that it would be trialing these ID-locked fridges at a number of its stores across the country.
They’re not alone. Fridges like these are only the latest in a trend of tech innovations aimed squarely at alcohol consumers.
Several supermarket chains in the UK are currently trialing a facial recognition algorithm that can determine users’ ages when purchasing alcohol at self-checkout.
Similarly, researchers at LA Trobe University have just debuted the Audio-based Deep Learning Algorithm to Identify Alcohol Inebriation (ADLAIA), a speech-recognition AI that can determine an individual’s intoxication level based only on a 12-second voice recording.
Amidst the transition towards automation and the recent explosion of publicly available AI algorithms, alcohol consumption has become an unlikely arena for the trialing of surprising new technology.
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