Artificial intelligence has made leaps in terms of advancement, but it seems that there is still quite a long way for it to go as it is still unable to tell the difference between a driver using his mobile phone or scratching his face. Yes, that is right! Chinese media recently reported an incident where a man in Jinan, eastern Shandong province, was fined for using a smartphone while driving.
The letter also featured a surveillance picture of the offence where it could be seen that he was holding his right hand to the cheek. The funny thing about this whole incident? The man didn’t use the smartphone, and the picture didn’t even have a mobile phone in it.
As it turns out, the guy was only scratching his face while the picture was taken. Nonetheless, he was being charged with a fine of $7.25 and two penalty points on his license.
The Chinese driver wrote on Sina Weibo along with the surveillance pictures, ‘I often see people online exposed for driving and touching [others’] legs, but this morning, for touching my face, I was also snapped ‘breaking the rules’!’ He also said that he was going to go meet the authorities in person because the matter could not be sorted out over the phone. The Jinan traffic authority cancelled the ticket after the story was picked up by news outlets. They also released a statement that said, ‘the traffic surveillance system automatically identifies a driver’s motion and then takes a photo’. This explains why artificial intelligence was triggered when the driver scratched his face.
Some were quick to point out the privacy concerns. One person commented, ‘This is quite embarrassing, that monitored people have no privacy.’ Another one said, ‘Chinese people’s privacy – is that not an important issue?’ As of now, there are over 170 million surveillance cameras in China, and the government has plans of installing 400 million more of them by 2020.