As lawmakers, citizens, and company's debate the use of facial recognition software in the U.S., tech giants in America and China have been busy hawking products to eager surveillance states abroad. Among the burgeoning markets, according to a report by Buzzfeed News, are monarchies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly in Dubai, where political leaders have often jailed citizens and journalists that they deem to be political dissidents. Critics of the UAE include Human Rights Watch (HRW) who has frequently derided the country for its authoritarian tendencies. Private companies like IBM are looking to governments accused of violating human rights as a market for facial recognition software. 'UAE authorities have launched a sustained assault on freedom of expression and association since 2011,' says HRW in its analysis.
A smart system powered by artificial intelligence has helped the Dubai Police arrest 550 people in 2018, it was announced on Saturday. Of these, 109 were'wanted' criminals, while 441 were suspects in different crimes. The'smart area' system helped decrease the number of'disturbing crimes' from 25 reported in 2017 to one this year. The system uses face recognition cameras to flag wanted criminals and suspects. Major-General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police for criminal investigation, said that the project is equipped with "state of the art smart tools to reduce crime rates".
"Dubai Police are keen to get the latest technology to fight crime. We always search for the best technology to serve our police work for a safer and smarter city. We seek to augment operations with the help of technology such as robots. We aim for streets to be safe and peaceful even without heavy police patrol," Maj-Gen Al Merri said. "We always look to achieve Dubai's vision of becoming a Smart City.
The world's first robocop has been unveiled in Dubai and will be patrolling streets from tomorrow onward. The 5 ft 5in tall robot can read facial expressions and will be used by members of the public to report crime and pay traffic fines. Multi-lingual crime-fighting robots will make up a quarter of the city's police force by 2030, according to officials. Real-life RoboCops will be patrolling the streets of Dubai alongside police. The android, which is equipped with face recognition technology, will be used by members of the public to report crime and pay traffic fines.