The Kolkata Police is expanding footprint of closed circuit cameras and planning to install more hi-tech devices with artificial intelligence (AI) to make crime detection easier, according to a top officer here on Saturday. The city police have installed 3,000 closed circuit cameras, said Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma. The announcement comes amidst global backlash for police officials using cameras with AI technology.

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In the US, the police authority has been criticized for using Ring cameras as a way to monitor activities. “We are expanding it. Recently, you have seen instances of crime detection by analyzing the CCTV footage,” he said, referring to the recent sexual assault case in Panchashayar of south Kolkata. Sharma said the police were planning to install more hi-tech cameras with artificial intelligence and face recognition facility. “If I have data, the data is also there with this kind of cameras, they do the matching,” he said.

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“With the installation of such cameras, catching those indulging in anti-social acts will become simpler,” the Police Commissioner said. Artificial Intelligence has emerged as one of the most widely used technology this year. While it is making its way to consumer devices in the form of voice assistant and agents. The real impact has been in the area like facial recognition. There have already been mass deployment of cameras and sensors to recognize faces of citizens in markets like China.

Doorbell-camera firm Ring has partnered with 400 police forces for a video-sharing partnership. The partnership, according to The Washington Post, will allow the police forces potential access to homeowners’ camera footage. This is widely seen as next level of surveillance and the deployment of AI and facial recognition could result in similar result with the Kolkata police force as well. However, for now, the police force only seem to be interested in expanding footprint of CCTV cameras.

(Written with IANS inputs)

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