THE CHINESE government is working on artificial intelligence that could see people prosecuted for crimes before they've committed them, according to leaked documents.
According to the New York Times, the leaked documents explain how China's already intense surveillance systems are about to step up a level.
The report claims that Chinese authorities will build profiles for citizens based on things like gender, race and any criminal records.
This will help to form a database of 2.5 billion facial images.
AI will then be used to find people it deems are more likely to commit crimes.
If a few of these people are spotted meeting up or gathering in the same location then the police could be sent to break it up and implement the law.
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Maya Wang, a senior China researcher with Human Rights Watch, reportedly said: "This is an invisible cage of technology on society, the disproportionate brunt of it being felt by groups of people that are already severely discriminated against in Chinese society."
Chinese AI startup Megvii is said to be behind the concept.
Yin Qi, the creator of Megvii, claims the AI is "benevolent".
That means it should have good intentions.
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However, AI is known to not always be 100% accurate.
Qi was quoted as saying: "It would be scary if there were actually people watching behind the camera, but behind it is a system."
His company has stressed to The New York Times that the AI won't be monitoring specific groups or people but will be more general.
The news comes after Chinese scientists reportedly created a "mind-reading" AI helmet that sounds an alarm when the wearer looks at pornographic images.
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Watching porn is banned in China and scientists think the device could be used by censors to speed up the policing of content.
It could be used to help the hundreds of people employed by the Chinese government to censor content online.
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