Skynet Today Last Week in AI News #55

Last Week in AI News #55

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Mini Briefs

This Small Company Is Turning Utah Into a Surveillance Panopticon

Banjo, a startup based in Utah, has set its ambitions on using machine learning and real-time data to help police solve crimes and tackle the opiod crises. Last year, the company struck a deal with the state of Utah that allowed it direct to access the state’s “thousands of traffice cameras” and “911 systems.”

To counter the obvious privacy concerns with its data access, Banjo often touts its patented privacy-preserving machine learning technology that can, among other things, “find crime without identifying criminals.” However, no details about how this is exactly accomplished has been released, and there is the serious question of whether the benefits of predictive policing outweigh its costs:

What is unclear is how many lives Banjo has saved, if it has saved any, and whether it’s even possible to create a product that automatically detects crime without creating a creeping surveillance state that inherently infringes on people’s rights and invades their privacy.

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