AI Dominance causing Surveillance Governance in post-corona world

AI and Surveillance Governance

28th Apr 2020
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In the fast paced life of recent decades whenever people becoming tense, they were just inviting some bad dreams in night, one day world will be perished by some comet or one day there will be only fire from sky or glaciers will be melted to flood the entire planet or if all these will not happen, certainly, there will be a nuclear attack and major parts of the world will be finished. Nothing happened, now the planet is healing itself and mankind is in historic worst danger. Not the planet as a geographical mass but the living human beings on this planet are fighting against invisible enemy, Covid 19 of Corona Virus.


The emergence of this invisible enemy has left the world in turmoil and this disease has reached virtually every corner of the world. The number of cases is exceeding more than 2,995,757 and number of deaths 207,022 worldwide. More shocking for everyone is USA where 987,322 people are infected and there are more than 55,415 death tolls. This incident has really challenged all defined machinery of Governance as it has proven, how far the health sector was not made equipped for such unforeseen incidents due to much more focus on other sectors like trade or free trade.


Now the question is, if human machinery is not enough to tackle this pandemic health crisis, should programmed machinery or Artificial Intelligence (AI) take over. It may be a case because during the fight against Corona Virus, AI has shown very powerful role and it shows some glimpses of post-corona world. Enhancing surveillance, monitoring and detection capabilities is high on the priority list through AI and related technologies.


The human machinery has now limitations because the imposition of lockdowns, limitations of movement, the closure of borders and other measures to contain the virus, the operating environment of law enforcement agencies and those security services tasked with protecting the public from harm has suddenly become ever more complex. In response to this growing crisis, many of these agencies and entities are turning to AI. There have been already major advancements in AI technologies, in areas including natural language processing, speech recognition, data analytics, machine learning and deep learning, and a wide range of applications from chatbots to facial recognition. These technologies have affected all industry sectors and are now being deployed as powerful weapons against Covid-19. In the United States, a surveillance company announced that its AI-enhanced thermal cameras can detect fevers, while in Thailand, border officers at airports are already piloting a biometric screening system using fever-detecting cameras.

 

Covid-19 emerged from China where the tech companies such as Alibaba and Baidu are offering free AI technologies and computing capabilities, to help public research institutions buy time to combat the corona virus. In China, AI-related research and application development have grown substantially, especially since the announcement of the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan in July 2017. In some countries, physical robots also come in handy. Self-navigating robots work to disinfect segregated wards, deliver food and medication, and check body temperatures. At airports and train stations, infrared cameras are used to scan crowds for high temperatures. They are sometimes used with a facial recognition system, which can pinpoint the individual with a high temperature and whether he or she is wearing a surgical mask. Certainly Biomedicine and research rely on a large number of techniques, among which the various applications of computer science and statistics have already been making a contribution for a long time. The use of AI is therefore part of this continuity.


The AI is enabler and evangelist causing its pervasive use making a new scenario in post-corona world. Everyone is saying that the present world will be changed, new world is taking birth or there will be a new world order. Really there will be a change but it depends on, up to what extent human beings taking the lesson from it. Nonetheless, it is clear, humans are going to be dependent on AI to the large extent because whether it is matter to solve a crisis or augment the facilities for life, time is the essence. AI makes it easy within no time. Increasingly, human intellectual activities will be performed in conjunction with intelligent machines. Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality.


However, it is causing fear among those who still believe more in human liberty and continued apprehensive about Governments. The danger is obviously in non-democratic countries but fear is more raised in democratic countries. They believe, it is also crucial that such tools be limited in use, both in terms of purpose and time, and that individual rights to privacy, non-discrimination, the protection of journalistic sources and other freedoms be rigorously protected. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expresses that this pandemic create societal control mechanism that help dictatorship. There are many other people too who believe, Post-Corona world will be the age of Surveillance Governance.


If it will be a Surveillance Governance in post-corona world, AI will be the main weapon of all political regimes. The risk in sense of surpassing humans and apprehension in sense of violating privacy can be resolved and its possible disadvantages can be turned into advantages. Whatever may be a case depending on different political wills but one thing is certain, in absence of so many quick deliverable, AI is going to rule the post-corona world because human beings living in present world do not have the luxury to wait.

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