A few days back, French research institute INRIA launched a voice assistant “AlloCovid” in an attempt to help callers experiencing potential coronavirus symptoms and guide them to emergency services or their doctors, using AI.
And now, France is integrating new AI tools into the security camera in the Paris metro system to monitor whether travellers are wearing face masks. According to Bloomberg, the authorities began a three-month trial in the central Chatelet-Les Halles station, Paris, which is normally used by 33 million passengers per year.
“We don’t collect data, we don’t store it,” said Xavier Fischer, chief executive officer of Datakalab. There’s also a 15-minute delay from when the data is collected to when it’s sent to authorities, he said.
The French government is planning to make a mask-wearing compulsory in public transportation from May 11 as they are planning to ease lockdown measures. Notably, the government is also considering introducing fines of €135 for not wearing masks on public places/transportation including subway, trains, buses, and more.
While the government body in charge of privacy, CNIL, raised concerns about privacy, DatakaLab said that its software complies with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Furthermore, the software is lightweight, meaning no data is sent to the cloud or offices. Rather, the platform forms statistics about how many individuals are wearing masks in a 15 minutes interval.
The company has already deployed software in the French city Cannes in a market and at bus stops to monitor social distancing.
The surveillance technology use cases have surged as governments try to find out a way to control the population under lockdown right from drones to mapping people movement through GPS with their mobile phones.
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