Chinese surveillance system recognizes your emotions

Chinese surveillance system recognizes your emotions
Image by Szilárd Szabó from Pixabay

The technology was installed in the Xinjiang region, officially as a tool to be used in the fight against crime and terrorism.

At this week’s China Public Security Expo event in Shenzhen, the attention is focused on one technology in particular: the one that China is adopting in order to integrate the ability to recognize the emotions of framed people into its surveillance systems. A perspective that does not fail to make discussion.

Surveillance and emotions for China’s security

There are those who fear repercussions in terms of privacy and those who speak of algorithms that are still too immature to be considered reliable: according to some, they will not be ready for commercial use for at least the next three to five years. In any case, it was installed in the Xinjiang region inside airports and public transport stations with the official goal of countering crime and terrorism. The area was not chosen at random: there live (and in some cases are detained) ethnic minorities such as the Uighurs of the Islamic faith. The confirmation in the words of Li Xiaoyu, representative of the city of Altay, one of the centres involved in the project.

Using video recordings and emotion recognition technologiesit is possible to quickly identify criminal suspects by analyzing their mental state, in order to prevent illegal acts related to terrorism or smuggling. We have already started doing this.

AI is trained to detect signs of aggression, nervousness, stress levels and what the Chinese authorities call the “potential of a person to attack others”.

A business that also interests Huawei

Huawei is also present at the Shenzhen event, which has its headquarters in the city. The company expresses its willingness to have its say also in the field of security systems, as underlined by a statement by Michael Yang, a member of the committee that organized the event, thus entering into direct competition with already established players such as Hikvision and Dahua.

Huawei has participated in the event for a long time, but has only begun to develop this aspect of its business over the past two years.

They are echoed by the words of Yu Hi, head of the company’s Intelligent Video and Data Analytics division, with a reference to the potential of 5G networks for such uses.

We have a large growth margin. The market is already worth billions of dollars and I think it will soon increase again, in particular thanks to 5G.

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