In AI Cameras We Trust

In the latest installment of  “Big Brother and Big Tech,” automated surveillance cameras in your local grocery store may not be too far away. Shoplifters and indecisive customers beware –  Japan’s new “AI Guardman” uses artificial intelligence to automatically scan your every move and assess whether you’re acting suspicious. That’s right, the creepy camera has the nerve to tell you that you’re up to something.

Running software developed by Carnegie Mellon University, the cameras notify shopkeepers when they detect customers who may be up to no good. So far there’s been instances of false positives, especially when indecisive customers pick up an item after previously putting it back. There is also concern about the potentially discriminatory implications of a security guard following someone around because “the camera said they’re suspicious.”

Big Bro’s latest tech upgrade doesn’t stop there, as cameras in China will soon be slapping jaywalkers with fines via text. Using AI, cameras scan your face to record your every move. For added flare, the scan of your face is even displayed to the surrounding crowd, complete with your surname, in the latest form of state-instituted public humiliation. If a city is especially petty, like Shenzhen, China, they may even take it upon themselves to a launch a very public website to name and shame jaywalkers. The U.S. doesn’t need to worry about public humiliation (we use social media for that) but a particularly money-hungry city might one day institute jaywalking fines. If it’s New York City, expect a full scale revolt from angry jaywalking New Yorkers.

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