18 years after he was kidnapped, a Chinese man was reunited with his family with the help of an Artificial Intelligence technology similar to the viral FaceApp. Emotional scenes were witnessed as Yu Weifeng, 21, was reunited with his family last Friday after police used software created by Chinese tech and internet services giant Tencent AI Lab to predict what he would look like as a grown man.
They then sifted through a database before zeroing in on Weifeng, who is a student in the provincial capital Guangzhou, reports Metro UK.The AI was able to accurately predict what the missing boy might look like now , just like the FaceApp, that has taken the Internet by storm with its eerily realistic predictions of how people might look in old age.
“When we found him, he refused to believe that he was a kidnapped child, but DNA confirmed that he was a match with his biological parents,” investigator Zheng Zhenhai was quoted as saying.
Weifeng, whose adoptive parents had given him the family name Li, had gone missing on 6 May 2001 while playing near a construction site where his dad worked as a foreman.
Zheng said although police had begun working on the case the day after Weifeng was kidnapped, “technology was limited at the time.” He added, “We checked surveillance footage, but there were simply too many people coming in and out of the area.”
Weifeng’s father said he grateful to the foster parents who had raised the kidnapped boy for 18 years. “From now on, his foster father will become like a brother to me; my son will have two dads,” he said. The police are still probing the kidnapping with no arrests made so far.