The Chinese government has drawn wide international condemnation for its harsh crackdown on ethnic Muslims in its western region, including holding as many as a million of them in detention camps. Now, documents and interviews show that the authorities are also using a vast, secret system of advanced facial recognition technology to track and control the Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority. It is the first known example of a government intentionally using artificial intelligence for racial profiling, experts said. The practice makes China a pioneer in applying next-generation technology to watch its people, potentially ushering in a new era of automated racism.
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The Chinese government is working to create a techno-authoritarian state powered by artificial intelligence and facial recognition to track and monitor its 1. China already has million security cameras in use for its so-called Skynet surveillance system, with million more on the way in the coming years. Far from hiding its wide-reaching abilities from the public, the government has frequently touted its high-tech surveillance successes in recent months. Last September, English-language state newspaper China Daily touted how police in Qingdao used facial recognition technology to catch 25 would-be criminals. In March, Beijing police began using facial recognition and AI-powered glasses to catch criminals — just a couple months after police in Henan and Zhengzhou began testing the glasses at train stations.