Chinese facial recognition firm developing AI to predict crimes

Chinese companies are developing new facial recognition systems that can help law enforcement identify criminals and even potentially predict crimes before they occur, according to a report by Shanghaiist.

Equipped with China’s photo ID database and the extensive footage taken from public surveillance cameras, the country’s facial recognition technologies are able to analyze billions of faces and objects to identify people.

China’s massive population and lenient privacy laws have made enormous amounts of data available to companies at a low cost to further develop facial recognition software.

Wang Shengjin, a professor at Tsinghua University’s Department of Electronic Engineering said that while China’s primary competitors are other Western tech companies,”[they] are far ahead when it comes to deploying [facial recognition tech] commercially.”

Due to the fact that Beijing is willing to pay just about anything to ensure national security, quite a few companies are finding the growing industry increasingly profitable.

Beijing startup SenseTime Co., which was recently valued at $1.5 billion because of its facial recognition innovation, sells its technology to the police to be integrated in advanced surveillance systems.

Xjera Labs, a Singaporean firm with offices in Shenzhen and Shanghai, has developed a surveillance facial recognition system that can identify individuals, cars and other objects with a 97 percent accuracy.

The company’s technology allows authorities to search for and identify certain actions, such as climbing fences or fighting, based on CCTV footage.

Another facial recognition firm, Cloud Walk, is developing an AI system that is designed to predict the probability of a crime occurring, allowing law enforcement to stop the act from ever happening.

In a video posted on the Financial Times’ Facebook page, the crime-prediction technology relies on facial recognition and gait analysis to identify people from CCTV footage.

In one example, the video exlained that the system is able to distinguish thieves from normal passengers at a train station.

The technology’s personal re-identification capabilities allow it to match the identity of an individual, even if it detects the person in a different location wearing completely different clothing.

Additionally, the facial recognition system can reassemble an individual’s trail across a large area.

Although Chinese law does not currently allow people to be charged for a crime they have yet to commit, citizens can be charged for attempting to commit crimes.

While governments around the globe are excited about the possibility of identifying criminals and terrorists, the technology raises multiple privacy concerns.

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