Recently China announced the opening of an AI-powered police station in Wuhan illustrating its plans to fully incorporate artificial intelligence as a functional part of its systems. The system appears to be designed with driver and vehicle considerations in mind making it look more like a DMV as opposed to a police station.
The concept was activated with the assistance of Tencent which will facilitate the facial recognition systems. It would seem the options possible would be rudimentary such as sorting out car related matters or conducting simulated driving tests hence, the relation to the DMV.
Introducing facial recognition to law enforcement
As implied earlier, the artificial intelligence system is going to use facial recognition as a means of identification which has become a favorite for law enforcement in the country. That would entail amassing a large enough database for China’s one billion plus citizens and it is entirely possible for one reason. Law enforcement is not the only sector which is quite keen on facial recognition in China. Several major corporations are already heavily invested. Alipay, the financial arm of Alibaba, for example, has announced a partnership with fast food chain KFC directed at testing the ‘Smile to Pay’, system.
The users of Alipay would be able to authenticate payments using combinations of facial scanning and inputting mobile numbers.
With the use of a ‘live-ness detection’ artificial intelligence feature, the identity of the user would confirm if they are in the database and then would be analyzed for shadows and other attributes. This would apparently prevent other people from using photos or videos in a bid to hijack the Alipay account of an individual.
Society is not ready for full AI integration
Primarily, the functions of the proposed artificial intelligence powered station would be to ease traffic bureaucracy which is why there have been simulated driving tests that have been related to the concept station. However, there are numerous other considerations that it does not take into account. Law enforcement is hard enough as it is for personnel to stay objective and employs the full capacity of situational awareness in some scenarios.
Artificial intelligence may not yet be up to the task. After all, not every case in the designated area will relate to car or driving related issues. Artificial intelligence has yet to be proven to have the capability of solving complex disputes. It may not use of all of the facts or comprehend the intricate dynamics of human relationships or the damage which can be caused to people whether it is in the case of molestation or rape and hence, may not have the sensitivity to deal with such scenarios.
This is not to say they cannot in time develop to deal with these crimes. That advancement would mean a form of sentience which is quite close to being a reality as systems are quickly learning to read emotions.
On the bright side, one can expect the systems to have minimal bias and be reprogrammed in the event they make mistakes. Artificial intelligence will soon at this rate take over basic governmental functions which also present the danger of supremacy of the human race, though that is a topic for another day.