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Software Describes Surveillance Footage In AI-Generated Text 132

Posted by timothy
from the now-he's-throttling-the-interstitial-ad dept.
holy_calamity writes "A computer vision research group at UCLA has put together a system that watches surveillance footage and generates a text description of the events in real time. It only works on traffic cameras for now but demonstrates how sophisticated computer vision is becoming. Interestingly, the system was built thanks to a database of millions of human-labeled images put together by Chinese workers."
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Software Describes Surveillance Footage In AI-Generated Text

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:22PM (#32435146)

    There needs to be an expectation of privacy regarding recordings of people in public places. There is a huge difference between being seen vs. having one's every public move recorded, indexed and archived.

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:25PM (#32435194)

    To rid the world of every shred of privacy remaining (not that there is much, admittedly). /shudder

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:30PM (#32435266) Journal

    Good luck with that. So, if I am in public I should expect that anything I do not be recorded, talked about or written about? I do not know how you expect to enforce that.

  • Re:Scary (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:30PM (#32435268)

    "Possible" is the key word there. I'm sure that a human will review all possible violations, to determine if one actually occurred. I imagine that this could allow for better policing, because less people would need to be hired for less work, allowing police to use their time more effectively.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:36PM (#32435372)

    And sooner than you think, the same will be true for when you're not "out in public" but are in your own home.

    Hope you're not attached to the notion of privacy.

  • Re:Scary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:39PM (#32435420)
    Personally, I'd love to see a system that automatically monitors video footage of every single highway merge ramp in the city where I live. Maybe if all those assholes who fly up the shoulder and cut in at the last second (in order to gain a dozen car lengths when merging onto the highway) were to get an automated $90 ticket in the mail two weeks later, they'd catch the hint.
  • Re:Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mystik (38627) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:40PM (#32435446) Homepage Journal

    What's broken then?

    The Laws?

    Or the Enforcement?

  • Re:Scary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by royallthefourth (1564389) <royallthefourth@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:50PM (#32435602)

    Probably both, but don't forget about unequal distribution of wealth and its relationship to social problems like crime

    Check the map; notice the USA is on par with Mexico (and Central America in general). This is not a good thing!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_coefficient [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Scary (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:57PM (#32435706)

    No, they wouldn't get the ticket. The person who has to swerve to avoid those idiots would get the ticket.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:59PM (#32435736)

    Good luck with that. So, if I am in public I should expect that anything I do not be recorded, talked about or written about? I do not know how you expect to enforce that.

    You should have some expectation of privacy because we need to have SOME privacy in order to function as human beings. Generally the expectation goes back to what you would feel comfortable with if it were performed by a physical person. And I'm certain that if it were somehow possible to assign a person to follow and document every move, and action for every person in the US we might have a slight problem with that.

    We run into a hell of a lot of trouble when we allow our standard definition of privacy which involved 1800s methods to be applied to our current level of technology.

    The basic problem is this:

    As technology improves, our expectation for privacy decreases. So using expectation of privacy as the measure for what should or should not be private is a HORRIBLE practice. It essentially means that as a technology or practice becomes ubiquitous, it becomes acceptable.

    Since we have no means to resist an application of technology*, I urge everyone to dump this 'yardstick'.

    *In practice, you do not get to opt-in or opt-out of having a privacy invading practice applied to you. It IS applied, and then you have the option to petition against it's application. Often, you don't even know that your privacy is being violated for years. As a result, these practices become common before the first complaint can even reasonably be raised. Even then, this ignores the issue of having previous complaints dismissed by judges who are ignorant in the field of the technology being discussed.

  • Re:Scary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:05PM (#32435818)

    "Possible" is the key word there. I'm sure that a human will review all possible violations, to determine if one actually occurred. I imagine that this could allow for better policing, because less people would need to be hired for less work, allowing police to use their time more effectively.

    Sir, you and I must have a vastly different definition for 'better'.

    (And do you really think that this would allow the police to be more effective? They will become just as effective as necessary to raise enough fines to cover their budgets, and if we are lucky, just their budgets and not revenue)

  • Re:Scary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:14PM (#32435926)
    Yeah, too bad that's a gross generalization that doesn't correlate with reality. Besides the fact that the concept of wealth inequality as moral negative is nonsense [cato.org], it doesn't take too much analysis to see that while the US and Mexico may have similar ratios of rich to poor (which by itself is misleading, as 10^4:10^3 is the same ratio as 10^2:10, but the magnitude is different, so the case really is that the poor in the US are richer than the poor in Mexico, and the rich in Mexico are poorer than the rich in the US. The ratio ultimately is the same, but the magnitude is different, which is expressed in the difference in the quality of life), crime in Mexico is worse. Similarly, in 'more equal' countries according to your favored methodology like Columbia, Nigeria, etc. crime and quality of life is worse than in 'less equal' places such as Hong Kong. Your theory simply does not correlate to reality, but I doubt this will stop you.
  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:28PM (#32436076)

    Who said anything about cameras? Think about the ways in which technology has changed over the past 50 years. Now project forward (or attempt to) 50 years while accounting for the fact technological advancement is accelerating.

    Fifty years from now, if somebody says "I'm safe from surveillance here. There are no cameras in this house," the correct response will be "awwww, aren't you cute!"

  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@NOSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:46PM (#32436290)

    There needs to be an expectation of privacy regarding recordings of people in public places. There is a huge difference between being seen vs. having one's every public move recorded, indexed and archived.

    The word you're after here is anonymity, not privacy.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:06PM (#32436548)

    Not too long ago, people would have branded you a kook had you suggested there would one day be devices that can look under your clothes to capture an image of your skin, genitals, and anything you might be carrying on your person.

    I walked through one of those very devices last week at the airport when I flew home.

    Today, a hobbyist could easily build an autonomous surveillance robot the size of a small rodent that has everything it needs to capture sound and audio and either store the resulting feed or stream it to a server somewhere. In 20 more years, how much smaller than "rodent" do you think that robot could be? How about 50 years? And what about if it's a government or corporate lab with a big budget building the thing rather than a hobbyist?

    I'll say it again: I hope you're not too attached to the notion of privacy.

  • Re:Scary (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:22PM (#32436758)

    Nothing is broken.

    The law is an attempt to formalize our sense of justice with relatively few, simple rules. Since this is a very complex system we are trying to formalize, while keeping the formalization simple enough to be usable, the law has to be imperfect. It will never be perfect. It can not be perfect.

    Enforcing imperfect laws rigorously and methodically is just stupid and a recipe for disaster. Fortunately enforcement is also imperfect so it leaves us some maneuvering space to compensate for the imperfect laws.

    Pray enforcement never becomes perfect.

  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:41PM (#32437006)
    Good point. No government or corporation in human history has ever done anything illegal, especially when they have the means to do it completely undetected.
  • Re:Scary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mandelbr0t (1015855) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @05:18PM (#32437446) Journal

    This seems to miss the point. A society that was truly just would actually consider on a case-by-case basis whether it was in the public interest to enforce each infraction of the law. In many cases, the harm to the public is negligible or non-existant, or the law was broken as a form of protest against a law that is generally seen to be unfair (e.g. the American DMCA). If all these cases were summarily determined to be infraction without considering the public interest, society would become a tyranny of law, a place where all that matters is that the rules are absolute.

    There are countless examples of the heroes that are created by such a society, and they date back throughout human existence. While they have been exaggerated to the point of legend, the message is clear: Any attempt to make the law absolute will result in overwhelming revolt by citizens, and a government that need fight for its existence in the face of overwhelming support of an outlaw.

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