Most Chinese are well aware that they are under government surveillance using the world's most sophisticated electronic surveillance system. The emergency situation due to the coronavirus epidemic finally brought these technologies out of the shadows, giving the country's authorities the opportunity this time to completely legally and reasonably control their citizens.
Companies working in the field of artificial intelligence and surveillance systems openly flaunt the fact that they can scan city streets and identify passers-by by faces, even with protective masks.
If, for example, a passenger infected with a coronavirus gets on a train, the system will be able to provide a list of all the people sitting next to him. Mobile phone apps can tell users if they've been around carriers of the coronavirus, and maps can help them see the location of buildings where infected people live.
If we put aside the protests in social networks, then most of the citizens of the Middle Kingdom are quite loyal to such an invasion of their privacy against the background of such a dangerous epidemic.
This week, the Ministry of Industry called on Chinese high-tech companies and research institutions to help fight the epidemic. Companies responded with a flurry of ads touting the capabilities of their technology.
So, the company Megvii (face recognition systems) announced on Tuesday the development of a new way to detect and identify cases. Its new "AI temperature measurement system" monitors temperature with thermal imaging cameras and uses body and face parameters to identify people.
AI company SenseTime said it has created a similar system for use at building entrances. She can even identify masked people.
In turn, the manufacturer of surveillance cameras, Zhejiang Dahua, announced that their systems can detect patients with high temperatures using cameras with infrared sensors with an accuracy of 0.3 ºC.