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China using AI to identify Uighurs across China: NYT

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

Chinese authorities are using a vast system of technology to track its Uighur Muslim minority across the country, according to a story in

has already attracted widespread criticism for its treatment of Uighurs in the northwest region of Xinjiang, where up to one million members of mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minority groups are held in internment camps, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.

But according to a Times article on Sunday, technology -- integrated into China's huge networks of cameras -- has been programmed to look exclusively for Uighurs based on their appearance and keep records of their movements across

Police are now reportedly using (AI) technology to target Uighurs outside Xinjiang, including in wealthy cities like and The newspaper claims one central city scanned whether residents were Uighurs 500,000 times in one month alone.

announced a plan in 2017 to become the world in the AI industry. But there have been concerns in the international community that new is being used for heavy police in recent years after violent inter-ethnic tensions.

cites experts who say this is the first known example of a government intentionally using AI for racial profiling, with appetite for the new systems growing in cities across the country.

In the central province of Shaanxi, authorities reportedly "aimed to acquire a smart camera system last year that 'should support to identify Uighur/non-Uighur attributes'." says China's did not respond to a faxed request for comment.

denies the accounts of mass detention in Xinjiang, saying it is running educational training centres as part of a fight against Islamic extremism in the region.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 20:15 IST
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