China uses AI to boost surveillance and Disney firm is helping it

China seems to have intensified its surveillance capabilities on its citizens by deploying the technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to upgrade its surveillance tools. According to a document released by Reuters, China is now using a new AI software, known as “One software, One file” to enhance its monitoring capabilities on citizens.

Earlier, the data collected from the citizens was passed on to the law enforcement authorities to organize for further analysis.

Now, the new AI system has capabilities to auto-organize all faces like those partially blocked by scarf’s or objects, masked faces, low resolution images. These images are perfectly analyzed and those that are 98% error free are transferred to the archival database.

Thus, ‘One Person, One File’ makes it easier for the authorities to track individuals, all in the name of national security.

Beijing is planning to further enhance the capabilities of the software by recognizing the individual to an extent where his/her online activities can be scaled and analyzed, to stop any bad intentions emerging in the subject’s mind, before it takes any practical shape.

To a certain extent, such monitoring capabilities assist the law enforcement in identifying suspects or culprits involved in crimes. But to a large extent, mass surveillance always leads to privacy and security issues for individuals and groups and might lead to breach of Human Rights.

But Beijing insists that such monitoring activities are not only assisting it in combating crime, but is also helping it in containing the spread of COVID-19. In fact, in the recent Shutdown saga in the Shanghai City, located in the Central Coast of China, CCTV cameras enabled with smart surveillance competence helped the government authorities in keeping the people indoors and thus helping them in keeping a check on Corona spread, which deeply affected the lives of over 25 million people.

Another most important point is that Disney + Hotstar, which offers online content to television viewers from India and South East Asia, is also assisting the Chinese surveillance authorities by passing large amounts of information generated by TV viewers.

The data will be used for analytical purposes and to train the systems in Machine Learning (ML). So, all faces, objects-movable and immovable and scenes will be streamed into ML algorithms and will be analyzed by a team of researchers comprising 50 members all from Peking University. Their job will be to analyze content and develop courses that will assist in training individuals across the world in AI.

In the year 2017, China announced it is planning to become a “Global Innovation Centre” by 2030 in Artificial Intelligence. And all the above stated inventions, developments and activities can be seen as a part and parcel of the dominance game.


Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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