Chinese AI caught out by face in bus ad

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
China is seeking to stop pedestrians flouting traffic laws

Over-zealous AI systems in China have accused a woman pictured on the side of a bus of jaywalking.

The face of Dong Mingzhu, who heads China's biggest air-conditioner maker, was briefly shown on a billboard used to shame those who flout traffic laws.

But the AI-based spotting system in Ningbo had reacted to the bus advert rather than Ms Dong herself.

Police said they had deleted the photo and would update the jaywalker-spotting system to avoid similar mistakes.

Hard work

Traffic police in many Chinese cities have started using a variety of methods to stop people crossing streets unlawfully.

Many now rely on automatic camera-based systems that take pictures of people as they cross roads or mingle with traffic.

The images and names of jaywalkers are featured on large displays and warn people about the legal consequences of their actions.

Police in Ningbo said its public shaming of Ms Dong was a mistake as the AI system had spotted her face in an advert for Gree Electric Appliances - the business she runs.

Local police acknowledged the mistake in a Sina Weibo blog and said the snap of Ms Dong had been deleted, reported the South China Morning Post.

Work was now taking place to ensure the AI-system could differentiate between ads and people, it added.

Gree Electric reacted by thanking the police for their hard work, the paper said.