Much like in the 2002 film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, authorities in the east Asian country want to catch criminals before they have done any wrongdoing.
The police in the surveillance state have enlisted the help of AI to determine who is going to commit a crime before its happened.
Li Meng, vice-minister of science, said: “If we use our smart systems and smart facilities well, we can know beforehand… who might be a terrorist, who might do something bad.”
One of the ways China is hoping to peek into the future is with facial recognition firm Cloud Walk which is trialling software that gathers data on where people are what they are doing.
For example, if a citizen is to visit a weapons shop then the firm can combine this with other data to assess the individuals chance of committing a crime.
Cloud Walk spokesperson Fu Xiaolong said: “The police are using a big-data rating system to rate highly suspicious groups of people based on where they go and what they do.”
He added that the risk rises if the person “frequently visits transport hubs and goes to suspicious places like a knife store”.
Another way that the police can use AI to predict crimes is through algorithms that use “crowd analysis” to detect “suspicious” patterns of individuals to determine if they are a thief, for example.
It can also be used to monitor “high risk” locations, such as knife and hammer shops.