The world is in turmoil because of the emergence of the novel coronavirus. The disease caused by the coronavirus reached virtually every corner of the world. The number of cases exceeds a million, and the number of deaths is more than 50,000 worldwide. It is the situation that will affect us all in some way.
All in all, now the situation is that there are closed borders, limitations of movements, and lockdowns. Thus, security services and enforcement agencies which are tasked to protect the public from has is now a challenging mission. They are in a unique situation. Moreover, they play a critical role in halting the spread of the coronavirus. They must preserve social order and public safety in the process. As a response to this growing crisis, many of these entities and agencies are turning to artificial intelligence and related technologies for support in innovative and unique ways. Detection capabilities, monitoring, and enhancing surveillance is high on the priority list.
Reuters reported a case in China, for instance, early in the outbreak, wherein the authorities relied on the cameras of facial recognition. It was to track a man from Hangzhou who traveled in the affected area. Thus, the local police, upon his return home, was there to instruct him to face repercussions and self-quarantine. Moreover, in Spain and China also started using technology to strengthen the quarantine. Their drones are broadcasting audio and patrolling messages to the public. Thus, encouraging them to stay at home. People who fly in Hong Kong airport are receiving monitoring bracelets. Those bracelets are alerting the authorities if they breach the quarantine by leaving their home.
Coronavirus and Artificial Intelligence
A surveillance company said that its artificial intelligence-enhanced thermal cameras could detect coronavirus in the United States. Meanwhile, in Thailand, officers of the border at airports are piloting a biometric screening system with the use of fever-detecting cameras.
There are countries on lockdown increasing at an alarming rate, deaths, and a new number of the coronavirus cases and assuming that we can say that the situation won’t be an isolated example of using the technological innovation in response to this global crisis. Thus, we will most likely see more and more artificial intelligence use cases come to the fore in the coming days, weeks, and months of this outbreak.
The application of artificial intelligence plays a vital role in seizing the reins in the crisis, and to safeguard officials and officers from infection. Nevertheless, we must not forget that the use of artificial intelligence can raise very serious and real human rights concerns. Thus, it can be damaging and undermine the trust placed in government by communities. Fundamental principles, human rights, and civil liberties of law may be damaged or exposed. It is in case we don’t tread this path with great caution. There might be no turning back in the case box of Pandora is open.
On March 19, in a public statement, the freedom expression monitors of the media for the United Nations, the representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, issued a joint statement. The statement was for promoting the free flow of information during the pandemic.