Watrix, a Chinese company based in Beijing, recently created an AI for surveillance that could identify individuals even if they have their back turned to the camera or have their face covered.
Called “gait recognition”, the AI works by analyzing thousands of variables of an individual’s gait or “style” of walking, including body shape to angle of arm movement, and also whether they have a toe-in or toe-out gait, then builds a database of the individual. This technology can be helpful in catching criminals, including those who have concealed their faces.
The system is already on-trial by cops in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. According to official Chinese statistics, there are over 300,000 criminals at large in the populous country, and the tech will help law enforcement identify suspected lawbreakers by being deployed in these major cities.
Gait and facial recognition AI in China are currently being used in a variety of applications, not just catching criminals – these high-tech surveillance methods are used to find jaywalkers, limit the use of toilet paper in public restrooms, spot ticket scalpers and enable password-free payment options.
Experts have pointed out that one of the main reasons China is taking the lead in AI is due to the country’s ability to generate and mine huge amounts of data, as well as the lack of strict privacy protection laws.
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