Incident 249: Government Deployed Extreme Surveillance Technologies to Monitor and Target Muslim Minorities in Xinjiang

Description: A suite of AI-powered digital surveillance systems involving facial recognition and analysis of biometric data were deployed by the Chinese government in Xinjiang to monitor and discriminate local Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims.


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Alleged: Chinese government developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Uyghur people and Turkic Muslim ethnic groups.

Incident Stats

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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

China’s Algorithms of Repression · 2019

Since late 2016, the Chinese government has subjected the 13 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang to mass arbitrary detention, forced political indoctrination, restrictions on movement, and religious oppression. Credi…

The Robots are Watching Us · 2020

We used to worry about Terminator-type artificial intelligence robots dominating the human race, but what we are moving toward is more the opposite: humans are being turned into automatons with little freedom to decide what we do.

Across th…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.