Japanese Police Test AI-Equipped Cameras To Protect VIPs

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Nikkei reported that the Japanese police will test security cameras with AI-based technologies to protect high profile public figures.

AI-equipped cameras may have features such as "behavior recognition," which analyses a person’s movements, or "facial identification," which identifies them. The agency will only consider the technology's capability to detect behavior. The system can detect abnormal movements such as looking around repeatedly by studying the patterns of suspicious people. The system can help security forces detect suspicious behavior among crowds, which is difficult for the human eye to detect.

Cameras can detect guns, suspicious objects, and intrusions into unauthorised areas. These features will be tested in the testing process, along with accuracy of detection.

The announcement was made as Japan mourned on Saturday the anniversary of Shinzo Abe's death by gunshot.

The National Police Academy is exploring the technology's use before making a decision on its wider deployment.

AI-equipped cameras collect vast amounts of data, which makes them controversial in terms of balancing privacy and functionality with public utility - especially when it comes facial recognition.

In a comprehensive AI regulation draft adopted by the European Union in June, facial recognition was restricted. In the testing, this facial recognition technology will not be used by the police agency. The police are testing the new system because of an increase in "lone-offenders" attacks, which is becoming harder to detect. The attack on Fumio Kishhida, Prime Minister of Japan in April 2014 was also without warning. -Nikkei

A survey conducted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) in 2019 found that 52 of the 176 countries studied use AI technology to improve policing.

Isao Itabashi is an expert in counterterrorism and chief analyst for Council for Public Policy, a Tokyo-based organization. It will also allow police officers to be deployed more efficiently as they have more tools for vigilance.

The French government recently passed legislation allowing the installation of AI equipped security cameras at the Paris Olympics and Paralympics in 2024.