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China Government AI

Chinese Police Begin Tracking Citizens With Face-Recognizing Smart Glasses (reuters.com) 112

An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: At a highway check point on the outskirts of Beijing, local police are this week testing out a new security tool: smart glasses that can pick up facial features and car registration plates, and match them in real-time with a database of suspects. The AI-powered glasses, made by LLVision, scan the faces of vehicle occupants and the plates, flagging with a red box and warning sign to the wearer when any match up with a centralized "blacklist".

The test -- which coincides with the annual meeting of China's parliament in central Beijing -- underscores a major push by China's leaders to leverage technology to boost security in the country... Wu Fei, chief executive of LLVision, said people should not be worried about privacy concerns because China's authorities were using the equipment for "noble causes", catching suspects and fugitives from the law. "We trust the government," he told Reuters at the company's headquarters in Beijing.

This weekend while China's President Xi Jinping is expected to push through a reform allowing him to stay in power indefinitely, Reuters reports that the Chinese goverment is pushing the use of cutting-edge technology "to track and control behavior that goes against the interests of the ruling Communist Party online and in the wider world... A key concern is that blacklists could include a wide range of people stretching from lawyers and artists to political dissidents, charity workers, journalists and rights activists...

"The new technologies range from police robots for crowd control, to drones to monitor border areas, and artificially intelligent systems to track and censor behavior online," Reuters reports, citing one Hong Kong researcher who argues that China now sees internet and communication technologies "as absolutely indispensable tools of social and political control."

Chinese Police Begin Tracking Citizens With Face-Recognizing Smart Glasses

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  • Someone should start air-dropping portable EMP devices and jammers to dissidents in China.
    • and we can roll out Tank Man 9000 and see how well they work ageist them

    • Because it's only bad when China does it right. NYPD, to name one, isn't using (and abusing) facial recognition cameras. The US needs EMPs too!
      • Agreed 100% about the US.
      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @08:46AM (#56242217)

        You do not understand systemic differences. In China, law is applied different both on executive and judiciary level. Protections you get in US do not exist. Where protections exist, they are applied selectively.

        Example: In US, if there's a suspicion of drug use in a private club, police has to go through a long process to obtain a warrant, and even then doesn't have ability to just mass incarcerate everyone inside. In China the normal way to handle such suspicion is to simply go in, detain everyone and force everyone in the club to pee in a test cup while policeman is watching. And if you fail, legal system will crush you, as China's legal system absolutely abhors drug users.

        • And you do not understand the rampant abuses and rubber-stamp-warrant system in the US. Mass facial recognition is being used by US police forces without a warrant. Same with LPRs. And speaking of ridiculous drug searches, police without a warrant detained and searched an entire school and searched so invasively on school children there's currently sexual assault lawsuits over it. China being worse doesn't mean our own rights abuses aren't appalling.
          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

            When you have a thread about China, and you're ignorant enough to make a direct comparison to US and then suggest that US is bad, you need a serious reality check.

            I recommend learning basics of the language, and then spending at least half a year living and working in the country. It will give you perspective on just how deeply naive your view is.

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      Someone is looking to get them killed? It's fairly easy to track such devices in a society where community level spying and informing is commonplace.

  • ago. This is right out of the season finale.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      While everybody is asleep, evil seeps back into the world and takes over. China is just a bit ahead of the others.

  • Hollywood does a damned good job, but how long before some company sells cotton balls that will stay comfortably in your cheeks for hours at a time, or shit, I dunno, wigs, eye glasses. Be fun to see the Chinese RaceYouToTheBottom companies try to keep up with Chinese surveillance, and watch lessons learned be sold here in the good ol U S of A.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hollywood does a damned good job, but how long before some company sells cotton balls that will stay comfortably in your cheeks for hours at a time, or shit, I dunno, wigs, eye glasses.

      Your suggestions prove you don't know anything about facial recognition tech, which uses points on the face which cannot be changed by
      the methods you suggest.

    • by sheramil ( 921315 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @01:10AM (#56241455)

      I wonder how much trouble you'd get into if you wore an obvious papercraft mask with a photo of your own face photoshopped onto the front.

      It strikes me as one of those "ain't I clever" as you peer out between the prison bars kind of deals.

  • "Security" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That word apparently is a euphemism in China for "ensuring none of the work-units (aka human beings) have anything even remotely resembling civil rights". How much of a shithole is China to live in? How long with >1 billion people put up with shit like this before there is a bloody revolt? Or will China go the way of al-Assad and just kill their own citizens wholesale? Seriously, how can our species call itself "civilized" when, in 2018, we have shit like the above going on in the world? Rhetorical quest
    • Re: "Security" (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Having lived in China, the average citizen does not feel oppressed and is quite proud of the country. On the surface it actually feels more "free" than the US. All the "don't signs" are gone or are free to ignore, you can walk on the grass, park in any free spot at any time, do a u-turn absolutely anywhere, no ID checks to buy beer or cigarettes. But challenge the government, yeah not a wise thing to do.

      • Having lived in China, the average citizen does not feel oppressed and is quite proud of the country.

        China should crowdsource this operation and provide these glasses to average citizens and open access for all to the database. With cash prizes for catching criminals!

        Then, anyone can make some spare money on the side while helping law enforcement by playing "Amateur Glasshole Bounty Hunter".

        Of course, Google has probably already patented "Amateur Glasshole Bounty Hunter", so China will need to pay some royalties to them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Considering the history of China, they will probably never revolt. They've been occupied by tyrants for centuries, they never did anything. Before the communists, they were being dominated by a small group of people.

  • How are they pulling this off technically? I can't imagine what sort of queries you'd need to do for facial recognition, and how many per second in a sea of people? Are they getting good results or is it just timing out on most people or what?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not actually that hard. A good few years ago I came across a facial recognition platform called Predator and that was using much older tech. I imagine the glasses are just the imaging and display component, the actual computation will be done somewhere else and wirelessly transmitted. Glyph recognition can find a basic face shape easily, this reduces the computation involved significantly as it can focus the attention on to just the face part of the image feed.

      There's lots of computation involved, sure

      • Glyph recognition can find a basic face shape easily

        Indeed, even on their low-res image you can spot where the face is...

        this reduces the computation involved significantly as it can focus the attention on to just the face part of the image feed.

        hmm, but given that poor image, I doubt they'd manage recognizing who it is in the picture.

        • by zmooc ( 33175 )

          I doubt they'd manage recognizing who it is in the picture.

          I think they can; after only a few seconds, they can probably obtain tens of usable images from various viewpoints. And they can probably factor in many other data they have about people such as where they live as well as recent other recognitions in the area. Perhaps it's even easier if they just track everybody always everywhere... and if they use spy satellites and autonomous imaging drones over their major cities, they can probably track everybody that can be seen from above, making all this so much eas

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Arr rook same!

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Ethnic groups that one is not familiar with indeed do look "the same". One's brain is simply not trained to process differences in the new group due to lack of exposure.

    • At billion point five people, one in a million false positive means 1500 faces will "Arr rook same!"
      Or about this many people. [gettyimages.com]

  • Combine a Communist Dictatorship with an economy dedicated to controlling the world and.....
    I distinctly recall people telling us "why they would need hundreds of thousands of censors to control the internet in China!"
    Guess what? They did just that.
  • by SysEngineer ( 4726931 ) on Sunday March 11, 2018 @12:49AM (#56241405)
    The difference between America and China is in the US, the government watches the peoples money to control them but China is still heavy cash based so they have to use watching people to control the population. Once China becomes more plastic cash card oriented they will not have to use the cameras as much.
    America is car based but China is more pedestrian. That is why US police cars have cameras that have license plate recognition and China has facial recognition. Do not worry America, soon the police body cams will have face recognition.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    state glassholes YOU.

  • ... then the "suspects and fugitives from the law" don't have anything to fear...
  • After being online for less than 15 minutes, the computer that controls the Chinese governments Facial Recognition system crashed. The computer, exasperated reported:

    "Fatal Error 70013 - They All Look the Same"

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs