China’s answer to bureaucracy in police stations is AI
I don’t know what’s scarier: dealing with a stern police officer or going to a police station only to be met with computers and cameras.
The latter is what faces citizens in Wuhan, China, where the first ever human-free police station is currently being built.
Partnering up with media giant Tencent, the new police station will focus most of its efforts on vehicle-related matters, helping out drivers more than anything. It will be rigged with an assortment of facial recognition technology that does away with the need for menial form-filling and ID cards. All the AI needs to do is glance at your face and confirm that you are you before proceeding. No logins, no paperwork and best of all, no need to talk to station employees. It suggests that the system will have all the information it needs from just your face, in order to say, renew your license.
And here’s the best part: the station will run 24 hours per day, seven days a week, meaning you can literally take a driver’s test simulation in the middle of the night. A useful alternative for insomniacs bored of staring at the ceiling.
The possibilities that artificial intelligence provides are endless. If all government buildings were equipped with facial recognition technology, for example, we’d be saving hours and hours of time that would be spent otherwise filling out forms. And while yes, the robot invasion still lingers in the back of my mind, the reduction in paperwork might supersede that notion.
China’s commercial sector has been pioneering the boom in the field of facial recognition technology over the past few years which has most likely led to the government’s decision to implement the tech in a police station. KFC, for example, has most recently begun allowing people to pay with a smile. The algorithm looks for shadows and other real-life qualities to power its ‘Smile to Pay’ system using Alibaba’s Alipay.
This July, China also announced that it will be increasing government spending into artificial intelligence by $22 billion over the next few years, with an aim to spend $60 billion on the tech annually by 2025.