Citation record for Incident 36

Suggested citation format

Olsson, Catherine. (2018-11-06) Incident Number 36. in McGregor, S. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Editors
36
26
2018-11-06
Sean McGregor

CSET Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Full Description

In November 2018, Dong Mingzhu, the chairwoman of China's biggest maker of air conditioners, Gree Electric Appliances, had her face displayed on a huge screen erected along a street in the port city of Ningbo that displays images of people caught jaywalking by surveillance cameras. The artificial software used by the traffic police erred in capturing Dong's image from an advertisement on the side of a moving bus.

Short Description

Facial recognition system in China mistakes celebrity's face on moving billboard for jaywalker

Severity

Negligible

Harm Type

Other

AI System Description

The facial recognition algorithm used by the traffic police in Ningbo, China to spot and shame jaywalkers

System Developer

Ningbo traffic police

Sector of Deployment

Public administration and defence

Relevant AI functions

Perception, Cognition, Action

AI Techniques

Facial recognition

AI Applications

Facial recognition

Location

Ningbo, China

Named Entities

Dong Mingzhu, Gree Electric Appliances, Ningbo, China

Technology Purveyor

Ningbo traffic police

Beginning Date

2018-11-21

Ending Date

2018-11-21

Near Miss

Unclear/unknown

Intent

Accident

Lives Lost

No

Data Inputs

photographs of people's facial features

Incidents Reports

Chinese AI traffic cam mistook a bus ad for a human and publicly shamed the CEO it depicted for jaywalking

China's war on jaywalking went to the next level last spring when AI-based facial recognition systems were integrated into some crosswalks, to punish jaywalkers by squirting them with water, sending them texts warning them about legal consequences of jaywalking, and/or publicly shaming them by displaying their pictures and names on large digital billboards.

Last week, this system entered a new and exciting failure mode when a traffic-cam in the port city of Ningbo captured a face displayed on the side of a passing bus, correctly identified it as belonging to Dong Mingzhu, CEO of Chinese AC giant Gree Electric Appliances, and then plastered Ms Dong's face all over a giant billboard, falsely accusing her of jaywalking.

The Chinese government is currently working to combine the operations of more than 170 million public security cameras to strengthen its surveillance network’s ability to track and monitor the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. Research firm IHS Markit has estimated that the number of surveillance cameras in China could reach 450 million by 2020. Although Chinese citizens have raised concerns about privacy protection, China’s broader initiative to become a global leader in AI has prompted local governments and police departments across the country to embrace facial recognition technology as an important tool for public safety efforts.

Facial recognition snares China’s air con queen Dong Mingzhu for jaywalking, but it’s not what it seems [Li Tao/South China Morning Post]

(via /.)

Chinese AI traffic cam mistook a bus ad for a human and publicly shamed the CEO it depicted for jaywalking

China’s facial recognition systems are used to catch all types of criminals, from thieves to jaywalkers, in real time. This week, one facial recognition camera publicly shamed a famous business woman for jaywalking after its systems caught her face crossing an intersection. The problem? She was never physically there.

As first reported by Abacus, it all took place in the Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai. The face of Dong Mingzhu, a president of China’s top air-conditioning company, flashed on a large screen displayed to the public listing nearby jaywalkers caught by cameras. A line of text captioned her photo, saying she had broken the law. It also listed part of her government ID number and her name, but misidentified her surname as “Ju.”

But what the camera actually saw was an ad featuring Dong’s face on the side of a bus. Local police soon admitted in a statement on microblogging site Weibo that identifying Dong as a jaywalker was an error made by the facial recognition system, and claimed that the problem had now been fixed by an upgrade.

Dong Mingzhu made first place on the Forbes list of the top 100 outstanding businesswomen in China last year and has made headlines for having never taken a day off in 26 years, at the cost of her personal life. A photo of the display screen has gone viral on Weibo, as people pointed out that despite the hype surrounding facial recognition, it turned out the system could still make mistakes. “Be careful of being sued by Dong Mingzhu,” one netizen mocked.

Chinese traffic police have increasingly relied on facial recognition systems to catch those who violate the rules. The systems have come to major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, and have captured tens of thousands of jaywalkers since installation. Officials have also talked to WeChat and Weibo about potentially fining offenders via text messages. While the systems are often a talking point for officials discussing their accomplishments and work to bring down crime, but as this incident proves, the systems still aren’t infallible.

Chinese facial recognition system mistakes a face on a bus for a jaywalker

Cities across China have debuted crime-fighting facial recognition technology to much fanfare over the past year. But some of these jaywalker-busting devices aren’t as impressive as they seem.

A facial recognition system in the city of Ningbo caught Dong Mingzhu, the chair of appliance-making giant Gree Electric, running a red light. Only it turned out not to be Dong, but rather an advertisement featuring her face on the side of a bus, local police said on Weibo Wednesday.

The police said they have upgraded their tech to avoid issues like this in the future. The real Dong, meanwhile, is embroiled in drama with an electric vehicle company.

AI Mistakes Bus-Side Ad for Famous CEO, Charges Her With Jaywalking

The police have since deleted the infraction and claim they've upgraded the facial recognition technology to "reduce the false recognition rate," although it's unclear just what they could have done to address this specific issue.

While commentators joked about the case of mistaken identity, it illustrates just what can go wrong with facial recognition technology even if you tolerate constant public surveillance. If there's a false hit, it can tarnish an innocent person's record -- and not everyone has the luxury of bus ads or an easily recognizable face to help clear their name.

Chinese facial recognition system confuses bus ad with a jaywalker

Facepalm: China is well known for embracing facial recognition tech to catch lawbreakers, but these systems don’t always get it right. Earlier this week, one camera captured the image of a famous businesswoman and publicly shamed her, but she wasn’t even there at the time.

As reported by Abacus, a camera at an intersection in the eastern city of Ningbo, located in east China's Zhejiang province, filmed what was assumed to be a jaywalker. The facial recognition tech identified her as Dong Mingzhu, a famous businesswoman, who, as noted by The Verge, topped Forbes' 100 outstanding businesswomen in China list last year.

But it turned out that Dong wasn’t even present. The camera had seen her face on the side of a bus advertisement for Gree Electric and mistakenly thought she was crossing during a red light.

Whenever the system identifies jaywalkers, it posts their photo onto a large public screen to ‘name and shame’ the perpetrators. It showed Dong’s face and name, though it incorrectly spelled her surname as “Ju,” along with her government ID. There was also text that said she had broken the law.

Ningbo’s traffic police wrote on Chinese microblogging site Weibo that the system had made a mistake and all record of the violation was being deleted. They also claimed that an upgrade had been carried out to reduce the chances of such an error happening again.

We’ve heard reports of China using facial recognition in several ways, from analyzing students’ emotions in schools to scanning for suspects via special glasses. Back in April, the system reportedly identified a suspected criminal from a crowd of 50,000 people, which sounds impressive, but in a country with a poor reputation when it comes to privacy and human rights, and the prospect of more false positives, such technology is a concern.

Chinese facial recognition system confuses bus ad for jaywalker

IF YOU RELY on facial recognition for aspects of your criminal justice system, you'd better hope it's reliable. So it may be reassuring to people concerned that China would use the technology to casually violate human rights that it's fooled by a person in an advert.

Not just any person, either: a rather rich and famous woman who The New York Times once described as "one of the toughest businesswomen in China."

Abacus News reports that the camera spotted Dong Mingzhu, the incredibly rich and famous president of Gree Electric Appliances, on the side of a bus and naturally concluded that this surprisingly non-human-sized human was some kind of giant jaywalker.

It promptly named and shamed her on a giant billboard in an unorthodox form of justice along with her government ID and name. To really highlight how accident prone the facial-recognition system is, it managed to get her surname wrong as one final insult.

After the picture went viral on Chinese social network Weibo, the local police admitted the mistake and revealed that the problem had been fixed with a software update. Presumably, the system now recognises that heads moving sideways at speed are probably not human. And call us old-fashioned, but we think that human rules of law shouldn't apply to floating heads.

More seriously, China has been flirting with the idea of automatically fining jaywalkers caught on camera, and with 14,000 people named and shamed at one crossroad in Shenzhen in a ten-month period, this really highlights just how badly that could backfire. After all, if this bug wasn't fixed and the automatic fining system was in place, Dong Mingzhu could have found her entire fortune wiped out in an afternoon as cameras spotted her jaywalking all over the country…

Facial recognition system accuses woman in bus ad of jaywalking

While China has moved ahead of the rest of the world in making facial recognition technology a part of people’s everyday life, there are systems in the country that need tweaking. Making a compelling case for change is the recent experience of Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of China’s biggest maker of air conditioners Gree Electric Appliances, who found her face splashed on a huge screen erected along a street in the port city of Ningbo that displays images of people caught jaywalking by...

Facial recognition catches China’s air con queen Dong Mingzhu jaywalking, but turns out to be ...

China hasn't been shy about using facial recognition tech to catch jaywalkers, and publicly shame them.

The technology aims to dissuade bad behaviour by recognising the offender's face, checking it with a database, then posting their information on public screens, such as their ID number and name.

It's technology that can definitely go wrong, as witnessed recently in the city of Ningbo.

As reported by Abacus, one camera caught a jaywalker at an intersection in Jiangxia Bridge East, but it turned out to be merely the face of a famous businesswoman, Dong Mingzhu.

Mingzhu appeared on a bus advertisement for Gree Electric, a company of which she is the chair. When the bus went through the intersection, the camera picked up the image of her face moving past. Oops.

Facial recognition camera catches top businesswoman "jaywalking". Her face was on a bus https://t.co/6rbsNf208E — Abacus (@AbacusNews) November 22, 2018

Ningbo's traffic police wrote on Weibo that the identification of the ad was a mistake, and that it had deleted the violation from its system. It also said the facial recognition system will be upgraded to avoid such incidents in future.

China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras, and one junction in Shenzhen caught 13,930 jaywalking offenders in the space of six months. We bet this won't be the last time they make a mistake.

Chinese facial recognition system catches jaywalker, turns out to be a bus

The face of Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of Shenzhen-listed Gree Electric Appliances, is splashed on a huge screen erected along a street in Ningbo, a city in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, to display the images of people caught jaywalking by surveillance cameras. The system erred in capturing the face of Dong from a bus advertisement. Photo: Handout

Facial recognition snares China’s air con queen Dong Mingzhu for jaywalking, but it’s not what it seems

While China has moved ahead of the rest of the world in making facial recognition technology a part of people’s everyday life, there are systems in the country that need tweaking.

Making a compelling case for change is the recent experience of Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of China’s biggest maker of air conditioners Gree Electric Appliances, who found her face splashed on a huge screen erected along a street in the port city of Ningbo that displays images of people caught jaywalking by surveillance cameras.

That artificial intelligence-backed surveillance system, however, erred in capturing Dong’s image on Wednesday from an advertisement on the side of a moving bus.

The traffic police in Ningbo, a city in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, were quick to recognise the mistake, writing in a post on microblog Sina Weibo on Wednesday that it had deleted the snapshot. It also said the surveillance system would be completely upgraded to cut incidents of false recognition in future.

There were no hard feeling from Gree, which thanked the Ningbo traffic police for their hard work in a Sina Weibo post on the same day. The Shenzhen-listed company also called on people to obey traffic rules to keep the streets safe.

A Gree spokesman said the company had no further comment to make about the incident.

Since last year, many cities across China have cracked down on jaywalking by investing in facial recognition systems and advanced AI-powered surveillance cameras. Jaywalkers are identified and shamed by displaying their photographs on large public screens.

First-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai were among the first to employ those systems to help regulate traffic and identify drivers who violate road rules, while Shenzhen traffic police began displaying photos of jaywalkers on large screens at major intersections from April last year.

From travel and retail to banking, China’s facial-recognition systems are becoming part of daily life

Developments are also underway to engage the country’s mobile network operators and social media platforms, such as Tencent Holdings’ WeChat and Sina Weibo, to establish a system in which offenders will receive personal text messages as soon as they are caught violating traffic rules.

To be sure, facial recognition systems – biometric computer applications that identify a person based on a database of digital images – are also being employed in China across various industries. Using sophisticated AI algorithms, Chinese technology companies and other major businesses have adopted facial recognition systems in retail, travel and financial services.

China tests facial recognition at border crossing of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

The Chinese government is currently working to combine the operations of more than 170 million public security cameras to strengthen its surveillance network’s ability to track and monitor the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. Research firm IHS Markit has estimated that the number of surveillance cameras in China could reach 450 million by 2020.

Although Chinese citizens have raised concerns about privacy protection, China’s broader initiative to become a global leader in AI has prompted local governments and police departments across the country to embrace facial recognition technology as an important tool for public safety efforts.

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2018.

More from South China Morning Post:

Facial recognition system in China mistakes celebrity's face on moving billboard for jaywalker - Asean+

NurPhoto

China is increasingly dependent on facial recognition systems to name and shame citizens who jaywalk, but it reportedly hit a snag this week.

A camera at an intersection in the eastern city of Ningbo named famous businesswoman Dong Mingzhu as a jaywalker after catching her face on the side of passing bus, Chinese tech site Abacus reported.

The city's traffic police admitted the error in a post on microblogging site Weibo, saying the infraction had been deleted and the system was upgraded to prevent that problem from happening again, without offering specifics.

Now playing: Watch this: Facial recognition is turning your face into your passport

Dong Mingzhu is the chair of Gree Electric Appliances, China's biggest air conditioner manufacturer, which thanked Ningbo police and urged people to obey traffic rules, according to South China Morning Post.

There are around 200 million surveillance cameras deployed in China, and Abacus noted that nearly 14,000 jaywalkers were named and shamed at one Shenzhen intersection over a 10-month period.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Chinese authorities have started using "gait recognition" software -- artificial intelligence that identifies people by their walk -- in Beijing and Shanghai.

Facial recognition system mistakes bus ad for jaywalker

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker

China has been using gait recognition as well as face recognition to automate the ticketing of jaywalkers, much like cameras are used in the USA to ticket people who run red lights. However, it turns out this system has some limits.

Facial recognition camera catches top businesswoman "jaywalking". Her face was on a bus https://t.co/6rbsNf208E — Abacus (@AbacusNews) November 22, 2018

A facial recognition system in the city of Ningbo caught Dong Mingzhu, the chair of appliance-making giant Gree Electric, running a red light. Only it turned out not to be Dong, but rather an advertisement featuring her face on the side of a bus, local police said on Weibo Wednesday. The police said they have upgraded their tech to avoid issues like this in the future. Via CXLive.

Face recognition has an old history in science fiction. Nat Schachner and Leo Zagat (who often wrote together as Schachner and Zagat) described a wonderful selective electric eye in their 1931 classic Exiles of the Moon:

But the selective beam of the electric eye refused to swing open the portal. Already the orders of the master of the house had barred the door against her. The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell, remained dead.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category.

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker

Chinese police have admitted to wrongly shaming a famous businesswoman after a facial recognition system designed to catch jaywalkers mistook an advert on the side of a bus for her actual face.

Dong Mingzhu, president of Chian's biggest air conditioning maker, had her image flashed up on a public display screen in the city of Ningbo, near Shanghai, with a caption saying she had illegally crossed the street on a red light.

But Ningbo's facial recognition cameras had actually only caught an advert featuring her face on the side of a passing bus – a fact quickly spotted by Chinese citizens, who shared pictures of the alert on Weibo, a social network similar to Twitter.

On Wednesday, Ningbo traffic police admitted their mistake, saying the alert had been "immediately deleted afterwards" and that technicians had "completely upgraded the system to reduce the false recognition rate".

The incident highlights China's growing use of automated systems such as facial recognition cameras to catch petty criminals, as well as in a campaign of repression against Muslim citizens in the western province of Xinjiang.

Chinese businesswoman accused of jaywalking after AI camera spots her face on an advert

Chinese cities have widely deployed facial recognition systems on their streets to catch and fine jaywalkers, but sometimes they don’t work as planned.

At one intersection in the eastern city of Ningbo, the face of famous Chinese businesswoman Dong Mingzhu was displayed on a public screen dedicated to “naming and shaming” jaywalkers caught by the city’s facial recognition system. The photo of Dong included a line of text saying that she had just broken the law by crossing during a red light.

Except that she wasn’t jaywalking. She wasn’t there at all. What the cameras captured was her face on an advertisement on the side of a bus that had just driven through the intersection.

Dong Mingzhu’s face shown on the screen of an intersection in Ningbo. / Photo grabbed from Weibo

A photo of the display screen has been making rounds on Weibo, with users poking fun at the failure of the much-hyped ability of facial recognition. “Who is that person clinging onto the bus? Serious Warning!” One Weibo user joked.

Ningbo’s traffic police later posted a statement on Weibo, admitting that the facial recognition system made a mistake and that they had deleted the record of the violation. The police also claimed that they had completed an upgrade of the system to prevent future such errors.

Chinese cities are also deploying the technology at crossroads to identify jaywalkers. Shenzhen, for example, said it has shamed almost 14,000 jaywalkers in 10 months – at one intersection alone.

Ningbo also boasted in June that facial recognition systems installed at six intersections in the city had captured more than 7,800 cases of red light-violating pedestrians and non-motor vehicles.

These systems can also check the jaywalkers’ identities in real time, but cities have different approaches to displaying jaywalkers’ personal information for technical and privacy reasons. Some cities don’t publicly display any personal information but instead check their identity at the backendj while some, including Ningbo, publicly display only a part of the offenders’ ID number and name. But the bus incident showed that the Ningbo system may not be that accurate. The display screen showed the surname “Ju” for Dong’s face.

Some netizens chose to look on the bright side of the mistake.

“It means that the system works – it won’t let go of any face,” another Weibo user said.

Businesswoman in China caught ‘jaywalking’ because her face was on a bus

A system deployed by the Chinese government to identify jaywalkers, reportedly using real-time facial recognition, has mistakenly identified a celebrity as an offender after scanning her face from an advertisement on the side of a passing bus, Chinese tech website Abacus reports. Famous businesswoman Dong Mingzhu, who chairs China’s largest air conditioner manufacturing company, was misidentified as a jaywalker at an intersection in Ningbo in eastern China, calling into question the technology’s accuracy and liveness detection capabilities.

City traffic police noted the mistake on Weibo, saying that the system had been upgraded to prevent a repeat of the error.

The system has been deployed to many intersections in Shenzhen for months. The systems vary between jurisdictions, with some displaying partial names and ID numbers along with the faces of identified offenders on large screens. Abacus reports that 14,000 jaywalkers have been identified at a single intersection in Shenzhen over a 10-month period, and that Ningbo said 7,800 offenders had been identified at six intersections in the city by June of this year.

Not only was Dong wrongly identified as a jaywalker, her face appeared with the surname “Ju,” suggesting that it also mistook her for another individual.

Several companies, such as Dahua, have been working to upgrade the performance of their smart city systems, as China seeks to leverage urban security networks that the New York Times has reported include 200 million surveillance cameras. CNET also reported recently that Chinese authorities have been using gait recognition for public surveillance in Beijing and Shanghai.

Article Topics

biometrics | China | facial recognition | liveness detection | privacy | surveillance

Facial recognition system in China mistakes bus ad for jaywalker

AI facial recog – it's all about as terrifying as this hokey stock picture suggests (whose subject is not Dong Mingzhu).

#F_AI_L An Artificial Intelligence system in China publicly shamed one of the country’s most prominent business executive for jaywalking - after spotting their mug going past on the side of a bus.

Dong Mingzhu, the chair and public face of industrial giant Gree Electric is a well known public figure in China, and beyond: Fortune named her the fourth most powerful businesswoman outside the United States this year.

The South China Morning Post reported that an image of Dong on the side of a bus was captured by police traffic cameras, and fed into a shaming gallery increasingly used in Chinese cities.

Shenzhen was the first to adopt this method of keeping public order. Some systems go further and spray jaywalkers with water.

Wouldn't you know it? The mistake of the traffic cops' system in the port city of Ningbo was spotted – on a huge "shaming" screen in the city that displays images of the unfortunates who'd been caught jaywalking on cams. Dong's company, for its part, said there were no hard feelings and thanked the force for "their hard work".

DeepEye promotional VideoClick to enlarge

The AI genius employed by said cops comes from Shenzhen-based Intellifusion, whose "DeepEye" provides “Cloud based deep learning for public safety and industrial monitoring” according to the company. And whose potential is illustrated by this must-see video, which at present has a mere 31 views on YouTube, but deserves many millions more:

YouTube Video

The United States sees itself as engaged in an "Artificial Intelligence arms race" with China.

"By 2025, they will be better than us. And by 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI," Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt warned recently.

We'll see. ®

Sponsored: Becoming a Pragmatic Security Leader

AI snaps business titan jaywalking

Photo: Getty

China’s surveillance system is becoming increasingly omnipresent, with an estimated 200 million cameras and counting. While this state of existence alone is unsettling, it’s even more troubling that the machines are fucking up even the simplest task.

Last week, the face of Dong Mingzhu — the chairwoman of a leading air conditioner manufacturer in China — was displayed on a giant Billboard-sized screen in Ningbo, a major port city in east China’s Zhejiang province, to publicly shame her for breaking a traffic law. Zhejiang is one of the provinces that last year deployed facial recognition technology that humiliates citizens who jaywalk by putting their photos on massive LED screens. But the cameras didn’t catch Mingzhu jaywalking—they identified a photo of her in a bus ad, South China Morning Post reported.

The traffic police in the city reportedly announced in a blog post on Sina Weibo on Wednesday that it deleted the photo and that its surveillance system would be fixed to prevent future misidentifications. And Gree Electric Appliances, the company Mingzhu works for, also reportedly published a blog post on Sina Weibo that same day expressing gratitude for the city’s traffic police and urging people to follow the traffic rules.

While the traffic police were apparently quick to acknowledge and remedy their system’s screwup, and Gree’s response was sympathetic, this incident still signals one glaring issue with the mass adoption of AI-based recognition systems: The technology is still laughably flawed. This is far from the first incident in which an algorithm failed to detect the nuance of the human world around it, and there’s yet to be a massively deployed AI-system that’s proven to be perfect.

Mistakenly flagging someone for jaywalking because a machine mistook a moving bus ad for an actual three-dimensional human isn’t itself that dangerous, but shame billboards are hardly the only facial recognition systems proliferating China. In fact, research firm IHS Markit forecasts that China will buy more than three-quarters of servers made specifically for combing through surveillance footage for faces, the New York Times reports.

“In the past, it was all about instinct,” Shan Jun, the deputy chief of the police at the railway station in Zhengzhou, where a police officer identified a heroin smuggler using facial recognition glasses, told the Times. “If you missed something, you missed it.”

Machines aren’t capable of instinct, and aside from not being able to differentiate subtleties in the physical world (i.e. a photo in an advertisement from a flesh-and-blood person), they’re also not free from bias. It’s easy to imagine how these flaws can go awry not only when used to humiliate jaywalkers, but also to socially rank citizens and identify criminal suspects.

[South China Morning Post]

Facial Recognition Flags Woman On Bus Ad For 'Jaywalking' In China

Traffic Cam In China Mistakes Bus Ad For Real Human Face

If you're caught jaywalking in China, your photo could be put on display as punishment. Just like a woman whose face was on a bus ad when it went by the camera. Police are fixing the technology.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you are jaywalking in China, you might be caught on camera, and your face could be plastered on a huge screen. According to the South China Morning Post, police in the city of Ningbo have been doing this to crack down on jaywalking. It happened to Dong Mingzhu - only she didn't jaywalk. Her face just went by the cameras on a bus. It was an ad for the appliance company she runs. The police say they're fixing this technology so it just targets actual people. It's MORNING EDITION.

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Traffic Cam In China Mistakes Bus Ad For Real Human Face

Traffic Cam In China Mistakes Bus Ad For Real Human Face

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If you're caught jaywalking in China, your photo could be put on display as punishment. Just like a woman whose face was on a bus ad when it went by the camera. Police are fixing the technology.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. If you are jaywalking in China, you might be caught on camera, and your face could be plastered on a huge screen. According to the South China Morning Post, police in the city of Ningbo have been doing this to crack down on jaywalking. It happened to Dong Mingzhu - only she didn't jaywalk. Her face just went by the cameras on a bus. It was an ad for the appliance company she runs. The police say they're fixing this technology so it just targets actual people. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Traffic Cam In China Mistakes Bus Ad For Real Human Face

Image copyright Reuters Image caption China is seeking to stop pedestrians flouting traffic laws

Over-zealous AI systems in China have accused a woman pictured on the side of a bus of jaywalking.

The face of Dong Mingzhu, who heads China's biggest air-conditioner maker, was briefly shown on a billboard used to shame those who flout traffic laws.

But the AI-based spotting system in Ningbo had reacted to the bus advert rather than Ms Dong herself.

Police said they had deleted the photo and would update the jaywalker-spotting system to avoid similar mistakes.

Hard work

Traffic police in many Chinese cities have started using a variety of methods to stop people crossing streets unlawfully.

Many now rely on automatic camera-based systems that take pictures of people as they cross roads or mingle with traffic.

The images and names of jaywalkers are featured on large displays and warn people about the legal consequences of their actions.

Police in Ningbo said its public shaming of Ms Dong was a mistake as the AI system had spotted her face in an advert for Gree Electric Appliances - the business she runs.

Local police acknowledged the mistake in a Sina Weibo blog and said the snap of Ms Dong had been deleted, reported the South China Morning Post.

Work was now taking place to ensure the AI-system could differentiate between ads and people, it added.

Gree Electric reacted by thanking the police for their hard work, the paper said.

Chinese AI caught out by face in bus ad

Over-zealous AI systems in China have accused a woman pictured on the side of a bus of jaywalking.

The face of Dong Mingzhu, who heads China's biggest air-conditioner maker, was briefly shown on a billboard used to shame those who flout traffic laws.

But the AI-based spotting system in Ningbo had reacted to the bus advert rather than Ms Dong herself.

Police said they had deleted the photo and would update the jaywalker-spotting system to avoid similar mistakes.

Hard work

Traffic police in many Chinese cities have started using a variety of methods to stop people crossing streets unlawfully.

Many now rely on automatic camera-based systems that take pictures of people as they cross roads or mingle with traffic.

The images and names of jaywalkers are featured on large displays and warn people about the legal consequences of their actions.

Police in Ningbo said its public shaming of Ms Dong was a mistake as the AI system had spotted her face in an advert for Gree Electric Appliances - the business she runs.

Local police acknowledged the mistake in a Sina Weibo blog and said the snap of Ms Dong had been deleted, reported the South China Morning Post.

Work was now taking place to ensure the AI-system could differentiate between ads and people, it added.

Gree Electric reacted by thanking the police for their hard work, the paper said.

Chinese AI caught out by face in bus ad

It's not a big deal to jaywalk in India. Eight times out of ten, no one will even notice. But if you jaywalk in China, you might have to face something extremely embarrassing. While China has moved ahead of the rest of the world making facial recognition technology or the AI-backed cameras a part of everyday life, they are still not perfect.

In a hilarious incident, Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of China’s biggest maker of air conditioners Gree Electric Appliances, found her face on a huge screen along a street in the city of Ningbo. The screen shows the images of people who were caught jaywalking by surveillance cameras.

Turns out, Dong didn't actually jaywalk, the AI-backed system captured a photo of Dong from an advertisement on the side of a moving bus. Later, the traffic police of Ningbo recognised the mistake and deleted the image. It also said the surveillance system would be completely upgraded to cut incidents of false recognition in future.

Dong Mingzhu, without having any hard feelings appreciated the work of the traffic police and thanked them.

Cities like Beijing and Shanghai were amongst the first to employ the AI system to help regulate the traffic and identify drivers who violate the road rules. Shenzhen wanted to do something different and started displaying the pictures of violators on a big screen.

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China's AI Camera Mistakes CEO's Photo On Moving Bus For Real Person, Shames Her For Jaywalking

A woman has been flagged for jaywalking by facial recognition tech in a Chinese city, only she wasn’t even there.

The woman in question was Dong Mingzhu, Chairwoman of China’s biggest maker of air conditioners, Gree Electric Appliances.

Mingzhu’s face was presented on a huge display in the city of Ningbo which shames people for jaywalking. However, Mingzhu’s only presence in the city was in an advert on the side of a moving bus.

Ningbo’s traffic police identified the mistake and posted on the Sina Weibo social network that it had deleted the picture. The police also said it would be upgrading the system to reduce such false recognition incidents moving forward.

Mingzhu would be within her right to want some form of compensation for being publicly shamed in such a way, but she has no hard feelings.

Gree Appliances even thanked Ningbo traffic police for their hard work in a Sina Weibo post on the same day while calling for people to obey street rules.

Facial recognition is just making its way into Western life, for better or worse, but it’s long been an accepted part of life in China. Shaming individuals by posting their photos on giant screens, however, is relatively new.

Cities like Beijing and Shanghai were among the first to employ those systems to help regulate traffic and identify drivers who violate road rules. As of April last year, Shenzhen became the first city to use the system on pedestrians jaywalking.

Chinese facial recognition provider SenseTime became the most funded AI startup in the world earlier this year, with a reported valuation of over $3 billion.

SenseTime’s facial recognition and video analysis technologies are used by the Chinese government and the company is aiming for its ‘Viper’ system to be able to process and analyse over 100,000 simultaneous real-time streams from traffic cameras, ATMs, and more to automatically tag and keep track of individuals.

IHS Markit predicts the number of surveillance cameras in China could reach 450 million by 2020.

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Chinese facial recognition flags bus ad woman for jaywalking

Artificial intelligence designed to shame jaywalkers in Ningbo, China, has backfired in recent days by misidentifying a woman in an advertisement on the side of a city bus as a jaywalking culprit.

Dong Mingzhu, who was in the ad and is head of China’s largest air conditioning manufacturer Gree Electric, had her face on display in the city as punishment for jaywalking.

The billboard display momentarily flashed the image of Mingzhu along with her name before law enforcement officials made the discovery and deleted the image, acknowledging it as a mistake in the AI system reacting to the advertisement, which they intend to fix.

Ningbo is not the only city in China to adopt a shaming billboard to punish jaywalkers. In Daye, jaywalkers are given the billboard treatment and are literally hosed down with water once facial recognition and lasers detect jaywalking.

As technology grows, so do the opportunities for preventing crimes, both violent ones and those that are simple nuisances. This trend is apparent in tech-savvy China — the country is always in on the latest in AI, incorporating it everywhere from helping out in the classroom to breeding cockroaches at farms for medicinal purposes.

To contact the author of this article, email marie.donlon@ieeeglobalspec.com

Jaywalking AI Mistakenly Shames Woman in Advertisement

Last December Synced compiled its first “Artificial Intelligence Failures” recap of AI gaffes from the previous year. AI has achieved remarkable progress, and many scientists dream of creating the Master Algorithm proposed by Pedro Domingos — which can solve all problems envisioned by humans. It’s unavoidable however that researchers, fledgling technologies and biased data will also produce blunders not envisioned by humans.

That’s why a review of AI failures is necessary and meaningful: The aim of the article is not to downplay or mock research and development results, but to take a look at what went wrong with the hope we can do better next time.

Synced 10 AI failures of 2018.

Chinese billionaire’s face identified as jaywalker

Traffic police in major Chinese cities are using AI to address jaywalking. They deploy smart cameras using facial recognition techniques at intersections to detect and identify jaywalkers, whose partially obscured names and faces then show up on a public display screen.

The AI system in the southern port city of Ningbo however recently embarrassed itself when it falsely “recognized” a photo of Chinese billionaire Mingzhu Dong on an ad on a passing bus as a jaywalker. The mistake went viral on Chinese social media and Ningbo police apologized. Dong was unfazed, posting on Weibo: “This is a trivial matter. Safe travel is more important.”

CloudWalk Deep Learning Researcher Xiang Zhou told Synced the algorithm’s lack of live detection was the likely problem. “Live detection at this distance is challenging, recognizing an image as a real person is pretty common now.”

Chinese billionaire Mingzhu Dong’s face on a public display screen.

Uber self-driving car kills a pedestrian

In the first known autonomous vehicle-related pedestrian death on a public road, an Uber self-driving SUV struck and killed a female pedestrian on March 28 in Tempe, Arizona. The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode, with a human safety driver at the wheel.

So what happened? Uber discovered that its self-driving software decided not to take any actions after the car’s sensors detected the pedestrian. Uber’s autonomous mode disables Volvo’s factory-installed automatic emergency braking system, according to US National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report on the accident.

In the wake of the tragedy Uber suspended self-driving testing in North American cities, and Nvidia and Toyota also stopped their self-driving road tests in the US. Eight months after the accident Uber announced plans to resume self-driving road tests in Pittsburgh, although the company’s self-driving future remains uncertain.

ABC 15 screenshot of deadly Uber accident.

IBM Watson comes up short in healthcare

“This product is a piece of shit” wrote a doctor at Florida’s Jupiter Hospital regarding IBM’s flagship AI program Watson, according to internal documents obtained by Stat. Originally a question-answering machine, IBM has been exploring Watson’s AI capabilities across a broad range of applications and processes, including healthcare. In 2013 IBM developed Watson’s first commercial application for cancer treatment recommendation, and the company has secured a number of key partnerships with hospitals and research centers over the past five years. But Watson AI Health has not impressed doctors. Some complained it gave wrong recommendations on cancer treatments that could cause severe and even fatal consequences.

After spending years on the project without significant advancements, IBM is reportedly downsizing Watson Health and laying off more than half the division’s staff.

Amazon AI recruiting tool is gender biased

Amazon HR reportedly used an AI-enabled recruiting software between 2014 and 2017 to help review resumes and make recommendations. The software was however found to be more favorable to male applicants because its model was trained on resumes submitted to Amazon over the past decade, when many more male candidates were hired.

The software reportedly downgraded resumes that contain the word “women” or implied the applicant was female, for example because they had attended a women’s college. Amazon has since abandoned the software. The company did not deny using the tool to produce recommendations, but said it was never used to evaluate candidates.

DeepFakes reveals AI’s unseemly side

Last December several porn videos appeared on Reddit “featuring” top international female celebrities. User “DeepFakes” employed generative adversarial networks to swap celebrities’ faces with those of the porn stars. While face-swapping technology has been under development for years, DeepFakes’ method showed that anyone with enough facial images could now produce their own highly convincing fake videos.

Realistic-looking fake videos of well-known people flooded the Internet through 2018. While the method is not technically a “failure,” its potential dangers are serious and far-reaching: if video evidence is no longer credible, this could further enc

2018 in Review: 10 AI Failures

Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree electronic appliances, during the 2018 APEC Conference on July 7, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

China home appliance queen Dong Mingzhu was confirmed to enter her seventh year as the chairwoman of of Gree Electric Appliances, as the Chinese air conditioner giant elected its new board of directors on Wednesday — a process that was expected to finish seven months ago.

Dong's reelection was no surprise for many observers. The 65-year-old entrepreneur said to shareholders at the meeting in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province, her holding onto the position helps to ensure continuity for Gree's long-term development, though she would eventually like to retire according to a report on the official WeChat account of STCN.com.

"Those who treat the company like their family will be the top leaders," she said.

Gree's shares slumped more than 3 percent when trading started on Thursday. As of press, the price rebounded back to 38.75 yuan ($5.73) each share, a decrease of 1.42 percent.

Workers package air conditioners at a factory of Gree, a leading household appliances manufacturer, in Changsha, Hunan province on Dec 8, 2017. [Photo/IC]

The Zhuhai-based company forecasted in a bourse file that its revenue reached 200 to 201 billion yuan in 2018 compared to 150 billion in the previous year, while net profit increased 16-21 percent to between 26 and 27 billion yuan.

During the meeting, Dong vowed a minimum of 10 percent growth in Gree's annual sales over the next five years. This projection was followed by a report from China International Capital Corporation Limited lowering Gree's earnings forecast also cited by STCN, which said it will be challenging for Gree's air conditioner business to keep pace this year, given factors such as China's economy and real estate circle. HSBC nevertheless upgraded Gree's rating to buy-in, wallstreetcn said.

Beyond air conditioner making, Gree has tried to become involved in various sectors in recent years, including mobile phones, chips and new energy vehicles. But Dong stressed at the meeting the main business for Gree is always air conditioner production, and she believed the company will maintain the dominance in the field for the next 10 years.

Dong Mingzhu reelected as Gree head

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