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Taser Will Use Police Body Camera Videos 'To Anticipate Criminal Activity' (theintercept.com) 76

Presto Vivace quotes a report from The Intercept: With an estimated one-third of departments using body cameras, police officers have been generating millions of hours of video footage. Taser stores terabytes of such video on Evidence.com, in private servers to which police agencies must continuously subscribe for a monthly fee. Data from these recordings is rarely analyzed for investigative purposes, though, and Taser -- which recently rebranded itself as a technology company and renamed itself "Axon" -- is hoping to change that. Taser has started to get into the business of making sense of its enormous archive of video footage by building an in-house "AI team." In February, the company acquired two computer vision startups, Dextro and Fossil Group Inc. Taser says the companies will allow agencies to automatically redact faces to protect privacy, extract important information, and detect emotions and objects -- all without human intervention. This will free officers from the grunt work of manually writing reports and tagging videos, a Taser spokesperson wrote in an email. "Our prediction for the next few years is that the process of doing paperwork by hand will begin to disappear from the world of law enforcement, along with many other tedious manual tasks." Analytics will also allow departments to observe historical patterns in behavior for officer training, the spokesperson added. "Police departments are now sitting on a vast trove of body-worn footage that gives them insight for the first time into which interactions with the public have been positive versus negative, and how individuals' actions led to it." But looking to the past is just the beginning: Taser is betting that its artificial intelligence tools might be useful not just to determine what happened, but to anticipate what might happen in the future.
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Taser Will Use Police Body Camera Videos 'To Anticipate Criminal Activity'

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  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @05:14PM (#54337227)

    >"But looking to the past is just the beginning: Taser is betting that its artificial intelligence tools might be useful not just to determine what happened, but to anticipate what might happen in the future."

    Yep. And by tying in facial recognition and other AI, it will be possible to make all kinda of inferences and connections and store all kinds of data about what normal citizens are doing. Things that might have nothing to do with the reason they were interacting with the police. Tracking where people are/go, who they associate with, what they are wearing, what they might be carrying with them, what was in their vehicle, what was written on their hat, etc. Lots of possibilities that can be great for crime fighting and a nightmare for privacy and freedom...

    And before someone says "but you have no expectation of privacy in public", I will counter with "but at no time in history was it possible to have perfect video and audio recollection of everything that is happening that could be stored indefinitely, shared with anyone, and analyzed and interpreted in a zillion ways."

    Truly a double-edged sword if ever there was one.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What if AI starts making determinations or predictions based on race? Will it be shut down?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also, they could be dead wrong about who is and is not going to commit a crime. This could lead to the police harassing innocent people.

      In fact, this thing could even be programmed to target dissidents, and use imaginary crimes as a defense.

      That WILL happen, mark my words

      Leave pre-crime to Phillip K Dick

      Captcha: Attempts

    • And by tying in facial recognition and other AI, it will be possible to make all kinda of inferences and connections and store all kinds of data about what normal citizens are doing.

      Anyone who suffers from Resting Bitchface had better stay home. http://www.urbandictionary.com... [urbandictionary.com]

      "How do you know she is a witch?

      "She looks like one!"

  • More YouTube videos of scared black people and children being tasked. Maybe this time we can get someone in a wheelchair Seriously though, can shit get anymore dystopian? Yeah, I suppose it can.

    "Officer. Am I being detained?" "It doesn't matter. My data analytics say your pointing a gun at me... Zap!"
  • by killless ( 4854757 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @05:21PM (#54337251)
    This will be great - just like precrime from Minority Report. Also software will be able to replace suspect face with a scary killer face and yelling "I will kill you!" to protect police integrity.
  • How can they tell which bits are criminal and which are routine? Do they have access to accompanying reports?
  • Stop resisting! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Monday May 01, 2017 @05:28PM (#54337287)
    Stop resisting! Stop resisting! Stop resisting! Stop resisting!

    "But officer, I'm pulled over with the engine off and my hands are on the steering wheel while my seat belt is still on."

    "Forget that! My computer says you will attack me with a knife in under 30 seconds! Stop, resisting!"

    "But officer."

    Zap.
    • by detley ( 1379713 )

      Tazer: [menacingly] Please put down your weapon. You have twenty seconds to comply.
      Tazer: You now have fifteen seconds to comply.
      Tazer: You are in direct violation of Penal Code 1.13, Section 9.
      Tazer: You have five seconds to comply.
      Citizen: Help...! Help me!
      Tazer: Four... three... two... one... I am now authorized to use physical force!

      (My apologies to ED)

  • (I didn't read the entire summary because BeauHD seems to prefer the lack of paragraphs, instead presenting an undecipherable wall of text to the /. community. Hey, BeauHD, why don't you at least try to do some modicum of editing?)

    .
    But from the headline... now we have AI shooting energized probes at people. This is going to end up in a bad place.

  • Taser Will Use Police Body Camera Videos 'To Anticipate Criminal Activity' ...

    ... by police. That is, Taser should predict when a police officer is about to commit a crime or when he acts like a loose canon.

  • Make it so that footage cannot be "lost" when it's an officer on trial.

  • Why shouldn't this invite a flurry of law suits from anyone who gets filmed by such a camera in California? It has some of the strictest copyright laws in the country. Seems like anyone in California should be able to sue Axon for using their video for financial gain without their consent.
  • can a court order get data off of private servers if the local cops stop paying and the defendant requests it at trial?? can that be used an as get out jail free card?

  • Some disturbing language that indicates that they're analyzing from the perspective of the officer and presuming the individual did something to create a negative interaction. And having software automatically fill out your reports will be serving the client, police officers, and the last thing I want is for someone to find the most efficient language to paper over LEO mistakes. None of this sounds like it's going to be a benefit to citizens.
  • Maybe they could analyze the video for signs that the cop wearing the body cam is about to murder someone.
  • So Taser, an already highly creepy company of dubious ethics, has decided to become an even creepier company and is changing their name to help hide who they are?

    Sounds about normal.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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