Published: Сб, Февраля 10, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Chinese cops are using AI facial-recognition glasses to scan travelers

Chinese cops are using AI facial-recognition glasses to scan travelers

You've probably heard of Transitions lenses that can adapt to changing light conditions. Many of these feature some form of AI, including facial recognition. Well, according to news reports in Chinese state media, China has really doubled down on that USP, equipping police officers deployed around a busy train station in Zhengzhou with sunglasses that recognise the faces of suspects. The South China Morning Post reported on a 1.3 billion-person facial recognition system being developed by Isvision, a security company based in Shanghai.

CCTV is also used in China by private organizations to monitor workers and mine human data, a practice that has attracted criticism from activists as an abuse of human rights. The country's CCTV system tracked down a BBC reporter in just seven minutes during a demonstration in 2017.

However, the new technology is one of the many steps being taken by the country which is showing great interest in AI technology.

The glasses were tested at the crowded Zhengzhou Railway Station
The glasses were tested at the crowded Zhengzhou Railway Station

The special glasses are now being used by four officers patrolling a crowded train station in Zhengzhou, Henan province during Chinese New Year, the busiest time for the country's transport system. It is claimed the glasses have helped to arrest seven suspects so far, whose crimes range from fake IDs to hit-and-run incidents and human trafficking. Now they have the means to do so with the new smart glasses.

One of the reasons Google Glass never caught on - aside from the fact it would make you look like someone badly cosplaying the Borg - was that the idea of covertly photographing and filming what you could see made everyone feel distinctly uneasy. "You can decide right away what the next interaction is going to be". However, Wu did add that the accuracy isn't flawless. However, environmental noise can decrease accuracy.

Obviously, there are privacy concerns regarding this technology and not everyone believes police should be using it.

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According to the China News Service, the glasses have already been successfully trialled by four officers on Zhengzhou city's East Railway during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Eventually? Given that Chinese law enforcement is already using technology that's uncomfortably reminiscent of Mission Impossible, it seems like that ubiquity has already arrived.

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