BEIJING — China is building its surveillance network, and could soon be keeping a close eye on each and every one of their 1.3 billion citizens.
The Straits Times reports that roughly 176 million AI-equipped surveillance cameras are currently installed all over China, with the number set to increase to 626 million by 2020.
Citizens' ID profiles, social media photos, and other personal details are being filed in a database and connected to security cameras nationwide.
The advanced surveillance system uses facial recognition technology to instantly identify the name, gender, and age of any pedestrian, and the type and color of any vehicle.
The same technology is being used by commercial and private institutions for financial dealings, keyless entry, and even to thwart toilet paper theft.
The system can also scan faces and compare them with the police database, allowing authorities to locate and apprehend criminals at large.
The network claims to boost safety and security and reduce crime, but has ironically been dubbed Skynet, after the futuristic AI from the Terminator films.
That Skynet ended up trying to exterminate humanity, but maybe the Chinese version won't end up being such a nightmare.