Intelligent ‘Robot Surveillance’ Poses Threats, A.C.L.U. Study Says

Businesses and the government have spent years installing millions of surveillance cameras across the United States. Now, that technology is on the verge of getting a major upgrade, the American Civil Liberties Union warns in a new report.

Advancements in artificial intelligence could supercharge surveillance, allowing camera owners to identify “unusual” behavior, recognize actions like hugging or kissing, easily seek out embarrassing footage and estimate a person’s age or, possibly, even their disposition, the group argues.

“We face the prospect of an army of A.I. security guards being placed behind those lenses that are actually, in a meaningful way, monitoring us, making decisions about us, scrutinizing us,” said Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the A.C.L.U. and the author of the report, which was released on Thursday.

The United States is, by various estimates, home to tens

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