Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used to Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers (2024)

Network Rail did not answer questions about the trials sent by WIRED, including questions about the current status of AI usage, emotion detection, and privacy concerns.

“We take the security of the rail network extremely seriously and use a range of advanced technologies across our stations to protect passengers, our colleagues, and the railway infrastructure from crime and other threats,” a Network Rail spokesperson says. “When we deploy technology, we work with the police and security services to ensure that we’re taking proportionate action, and we always comply with the relevant legislation regarding the use of surveillance technologies.”

It is unclear how widely the emotion detection analysis was deployed, with the documents at times saying the use case should be “viewed with more caution” and reports from stations saying it is “impossible to validate accuracy.” However, Gregory Butler, the CEO of data analytics and computer vision company Purple Transform, which has been working with Network Rail on the trials, says the capability was discontinued during the tests and that no images were stored when it was active.

The Network Rail documents about the AI trials describe multiple use cases involving the potential for the cameras to send automated alerts to staff when they detect certain behavior. None of the systems use controversial face recognition technology, which aims to match people’s identities to those stored in databases.

“A primary benefit is the swifter detection of trespass incidents,” says Butler, who adds that his firm’s analytics system, SiYtE, is in use at 18 sites, including train stations and alongside tracks. In the past month, Butler says, there have been five serious cases of trespassing that systems have detected at two sites, including a teenager collecting a ball from the tracks and a man “spending over five minutes picking up golf balls along a high-speed line.”

At Leeds train station, one of the busiest outside of London, there are 350 CCTV cameras connected to the ​​SiYtE platform, Butler says. “The analytics are being used to measure people flow and identify issues such as platform crowding and, of course, trespass—where the technology can filter out track workers through their PPE uniform,” he says. “AI helps human operators, who cannot monitor all cameras continuously, to assess and address safety risks and issues promptly.”

The Network Rail documents claim that cameras used at one station, Reading, allowed police to speed up investigations into bike thefts by being able to pinpoint bikes in the footage. “It was established that, whilst analytics could not confidently detect a theft, but they could detect a person with a bike,” the files say. They also add that new air quality sensors used in the trials could save staff time from manually conducting checks. One AI instance uses data from sensors to detect “sweating” floors, which have become slippery with condensation, and alert staff when they need to be cleaned.

While the documents detail some elements of the trials, privacy experts say they are concerned about the overall lack of transparency and debate about the use of AI in public spaces. In one document designed to assess data protection issues with the systems, Hurfurt from Big Brother Watch says there appears to be a “dismissive attitude” toward people who may have privacy concerns. One question asks: “Are some people likely to object or find it intrusive?” A staff member writes: “Typically, no, but there is no accounting for some people.”

At the same time, similar AI surveillance systems that use the technology to monitor crowds are increasingly being used around the world. During the Paris Olympic Games in France later this year, AI video surveillance will watch thousands of people and try to pick out crowd surges, use of weapons, and abandoned objects.

“Systems that do not identify people are better than those that do, but I do worry about a slippery slope,” says Carissa Véliz, an associate professor in psychology at the Institute for Ethics in AI, at the University of Oxford. Véliz points to similar AI trials on the London Underground that had initially blurred faces of people who might have been dodging fares, but then changed approach, unblurring photos and keeping images for longer than was initially planned.

“There is a very instinctive drive to expand surveillance,” Véliz says. “Human beings like seeing more, seeing further. But surveillance leads to control, and control to a loss of freedom that threatens liberal democracies.”

Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used to Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers (2024)


Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used to Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers? ›

Passengers on trains across the UK had their emotions recorded by AI cameras without their knowledge, it has been revealed. The images were sent for analysis by Amazon Rekognition software, which can detect emotions such as whether someone is happy, sad or hungry.

What is the best camera for AI detection? ›

What is the best security camera for AI? The best security cameras for AI are the Canary Pro, Nest Cam IQ Indoor, Arlo Pro 3, and Ring Stick Up Cam Wired. For a wide range of detection modes, the Arlo Pro 3 offers detection for people, packages, animals, and vehicles with their subscription service, Arlo Smart Home.

What is the difference between AI camera and IP camera? ›

An AI camera is a security camera that has been connected to powerful technology that can interpret what the camera can see. A traditional security camera, even modern IP cameras, can only record images of what is within its field of view. AI cameras go one step further and understand what is being recorded.

What is an AI camera? ›

AI camera is a pre-installed camera feature that helps you take better photos by intelligently identifying objects and scenes and optimizing the camera settings accordingly. AI camera is able to identify a variety of scenes, such as stages, beaches, blue skies, greenery, and text.

How do AI security cameras work? ›

It integrates machine learning algorithms and image processing to track movements, vetting them against predefined patterns to discern anomalies. This form of AI security camera monitoring has a dramatic impact on response times to potential security threats.

What is the strongest AI detector? ›

The most accurate AI content detector

Based on our testing, GPTZero was the most accurate for detecting AI content as it correctly identified the origin of all eight human-generated articles and all four AI-generated articles.

Are AI detectors 100% accurate? ›

AI detectors work by looking for specific characteristics in the text, such as a low level of randomness in word choice and sentence length. These characteristics are typical of AI writing, allowing the detector to make a good guess at when text is AI-generated. But these tools can't guarantee 100% accuracy.

Are AI security cameras worth it? ›

AI security cameras give businesses benefits and more features that improve security, catch theft and loss easily, and streamline operational procedures. These intelligent cameras offer more capabilities like recognizing objects or people, analyzing behavior, and integrating seamlessly with the cloud.

What is the difference between AI camera and digital camera? ›

The main differences between an AI camera and a traditional camera are in their range of capabilities. The extent to which each can produce certain photographic or video recording outcomes is also an important point. A traditional camera without artificial intelligence capabilities is called a “Normal Camera”.

What are the disadvantages of AI cameras? ›

Let's dive into some of the disadvantages of AI cameras.
  • AI Cameras Can Make Mistakes. Technology is great, but it can make mistakes. ...
  • AI Cameras Can Fail. We've all had a moment when we turn on our computer and nothing happens. ...
  • AI Can't Replace Human Decision-Making. ...
  • AI Doesn't Teach the Students.

Does the iPhone have an AI camera? ›

It's no secret that the iPhone relies on advanced algorithms as well as computational photography for a large chunk of its camera features. Portrait Mode, which uses AI to identify subjects and create a bokeh effect, is just one example.

When should I use AI in camera? ›

Any reasonable quality camera designed for wildlife, sports, vehicles, and other genres where the subject moves will have AI-driven autofocus settings. That function recognizes the specific subjects and locks focus onto them. It should result in a higher hit rate than old continuous autofocus and tracking settings.

How far can AI cameras see? ›

The 1 CIF resolution means that an object the size of a human will not be detected if the camera utilized is wide angle and the human is more than sixty to eighty feet distant depending on conditions. Larger objects like vehicles or smoke would be detectable at greater distances.

What does an AI detector look for? ›

AI content detectors scrutinize the content's linguistic and structural features to determine whether it was written by a human or an AI text generator. AI text detection is crucial for uncovering low-quality content that shouldn't be published without editing and fact-checking.

Can AI be used for surveillance? ›

AI allows for more detailed profiling and tracking of individuals' activities, movements and behaviors than was ever possible before. AI-based surveillance technology can, for instance, be used for marketing purposes and targeted advertising.

What is the most accurate AI detection tool? ›

The 6 best AI content detectors
  • TraceGPT for accuracy.
  • Winston AI for integrations.
  • Hive for a free AI content detector.
  • GPTZero for extra writing analysis features.
  • for different models based on risk tolerance.
  • Smodin for affordable unlimited use.
Apr 30, 2024

What cameras are supported by AI? ›

AI Intelligent Cameras
  • Hikvision DS-2CD6825G0/C-IVS 2MP People Counting Camera. ...
  • Hikvision DS-2CD6D44G1H-IZS PanoVu 4x 4MP Directional Multisensor. ...
  • Hikvision DS-2XS6A87G1-LS/C36S80 AcuSense ColorVu 8MP 4K Bullet S. ...
  • Hikvision DS-2DE5425IWG-K/4G 4MP 25x Pro Solar-powered Security P.

What is AI detection on camera? ›

AI security cameras can deliver alerts for unusual events, recognize faces, detect motion, interpret behavior patterns, and more. They provide an extra level of security by identifying potential threats or anomalies more accurately than traditional security cameras.


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