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Facial recognition system accuses woman in bus ad of jaywalking

This giant jaywalker is going down…

IF YOU RELY on facial recognition for aspects of your criminal justice system, you’d better hope it’s reliable. So it may be reassuring to people concerned that China would use the technology to casually violate human rights that it’s fooled by a person in an advert.

Not just any person, either: a rather rich and famous woman who The New York Times once described as “one of the toughest businesswomen in China.”

Abacus News reports that the camera spotted Dong Mingzhu, the incredibly rich and famous president of Gree Electric Appliances, on the side of a bus and naturally concluded that this surprisingly non-human-sized human was some kind of giant jaywalker.

It promptly named and shamed her on a giant billboard in an unorthodox form of justice along with her government ID and name. To really highlight how accident prone the facial-recognition system is, it managed to get her surname wrong as one final insult.

After the picture went viral on Chinese social network Weibo, the local police admitted the mistake and revealed that the problem had been fixed with a software update. Presumably, the system now recognises that heads moving sideways at speed are probably not human. And call us old-fashioned, but we think that human rules of law shouldn’t apply to floating heads.

More seriously, China has been flirting with the idea of automatically fining jaywalkers caught on camera, and with 14,000 people named and shamed at one crossroad in Shenzhen in a ten-month period, this really highlights just how badly that could backfire. After all, if this bug wasn’t fixed and the automatic fining system was in place, Dong Mingzhu could have found her entire fortune wiped out in an afternoon as cameras spotted her jaywalking all over the country… µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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