A stun gun company called Taser has just introduced one of the scariest inventions of our time a body recognition camera that will allow police to search for people and objects in video footage captured in real time and recorded video.
The technology will use automation and algorithms to detect faces and objects in video footage captured by on-body camera systems Vocativ reported.
The development of such advanced technology suggests that body cameras, which are already being worn by police departments across the country, could soon become powerful surveillance tools capable of identifying different objects, events, and people encountered by officers on the street.
While the idea is to use machine learning algorithms to speed up the process of combing through and redacting hours of video footage by allowing police to use keywords to search through video footage. And it’s worth noting that the current version of the technology doesn’t include facial recognition the company has previously stated to Bloomberg that they are working on implementing such Orwellian technology.
“If we think about that situation in Minnesota, maybe that officer did have some preconceptions about Castile, and maybe they were unhelpful preconceptions,” Rick Smith Taser’s chief executive officer said. “If the officer had known that Castile didn’t have a violent police record, as has been reported, his death might have been averted. “The more we can help reduce that uncertainty, the better.”
Such an implementation will be a major privacy risk, especially since there are no known current federal laws preventing police from searching through large databases to track someone’s every movement.
Where it will be good to catch real criminals if laws are not put into place to limit such technologies use to catching kidnappers and terrorist we could quickly be living in a “Strange Days” type of dystopia where the police can scan your every move. And even if there are laws that doesn’t necessarily mean that the people in charge are going to follow them so while this technology may make us “safer” it’s literally building the framework for a police state.
What’s scarier is it’s already starting in New York, the government privately asked surveillance companies to pitch a vast camera system they could install on bridges and tunnels that would scan and identify people who drive in and out of New York City.
Facebook already uses this type of technology with deep face so if you think such a technology is impossible you aren’t paying attention.
A Vocativ reporter talked to a Taser representative, and the conversation was mind-blowing, to say the least highlighting how far they want to take this new technology that is incredibly frightening.
“To clarify, Dextro’s system offers computer vision techniques to identify faces and other objects for improving the efficiency of the redaction workflow. AI enables you to become more targeted when needed,” Steve Tuttle, Taser’s vice president of communications, he said.
That means, he explained, that “you can show where a face starts in a video” to speed up a search, but that the technology “doesn’t identify individual faces or people.”
The company claims that its use of AI will be focused on “efficient categorization, semantic understanding, and faster redaction” of video footage as a method of “reducing paper work and enabling officers to focus on what matters.”
“Police officers are spending most of their time entering information into computers” about their interactions in the field, Smith said during the webcast. “We want to automate all of that.”
To further your paranoia, a Department of Justice study published last year found that at least nine different body camera manufacturers either currently support face recognition in their products or plan to add the feature later. To make you even more scared of big brother watching over your shoulder, a recent Georgetown University Law report, found that nearly half of American adults have been entered into their local law enforcement’s face recognition database. Increasing the chance that any random person walking down the street can be identified by the system allowing an unknown cop to track someone in secret in the protection of the excuse “I’m just doing my job” a very scary thought indeed.
For now, if you want to avoid this type of surveillance there is all sorts of technology and clothing that you can buy but there is no telling when this clothing and technology will become obsolete.