ProjectBlog: Will Artificial Intelligence Help Improve Prisons? – Pacific Standard

Blog: Will Artificial Intelligence Help Improve Prisons? – Pacific Standard

The California Institution for Men prison fence in Chino, California.

The California Institution for Men prison fence in Chino, California.

(Photo: Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images)

Artificial intelligence–connected sensors, tracking wristbands, and data analytics: We’ve seen this type of tech pop up in smart homes, cars, classrooms, and workplaces. And now, we’re seeing these types of networked systems show up in a new frontier—prisons.

Specifically, China and Hong Kong have recently announced that their governments are rolling out new artificial intelligence (AI) technology aimed at monitoring inmates in some prisons every minute of every day. In Hong Kong, the government is testing Fitbit-like devices to monitor individuals’ locations and activities, including their heart rates, at all times. Some prisons will also start using networked video surveillance systems programmed to identify abnormal behavior, such as self-harm or violence against others. Some will also start using robots tasked with searching for drugs in the feces from inmates.

In mainland China, the government is finishing up construction on a new “smart” surveillance system in Yancheng Prison that aims to monitor every one of their high-profile inmates in real time via networked hidden cameras and sensors placed in every cell. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the network will stream the data it collects to “a fast, AI-powered computer that is able to recognize, track, and monitor every inmate around the clock” and, “At the end of each day, generate a comprehensive report, including behavioral analysis, on each prisoner using different AI functions such as facial identification and movement analysis.” Like in Hong Kong, these systems are also designed to flag suspicious behavior and alert human guards when it finds any activity it registers as abnormal. An employee at Tiandy Technologies, the surveillance tech company that helped develop the surveillance system, claimed that with the new technology, “prison breaks will be history,” and suggested that unethical behavior from guards, such as taking bribes, might become a thing of the past.

Source: “artificial intelligence” – Google News

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