Solve for the China jaywalking equilibrium

Jaywalkers in China are to be named, shamed and slapped with an instant SMS fine.

And it’s all thanks to cutting-edge artificial intelligence.

In the southeastern city of Shenzhen, police have set up AI-powered boards by crossings.

If you jaywalk, a CCTV camera will scan your face and flash it up on the huge screens for all to see, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there are now plans to ping offenders’ phones with quick-fire fines as soon as they violate the grim rule.

The AI company behind the billboards, Intellifusion, is in talks with mobile phone networks and local social media platforms to enforce the new system.

To be clear, I consider this report speculative.  But not impossible.


On towards the vision as foretold by A Scanner Darkly.

Why speculative? You have already talked about watching a Chinese citizen being taken off a plane, after all, in a context where surveillance is common. Big data marches on, to the glorious future, which no luddite can stop.

For example, imagine the world where an autonomous vehicle will deliver those who violate the law directly to a police station. And who really cares about habeas corpus if no one knows that someone has been delivered that way, right?

What is speculative is when will a Chinese contractor offer such services in the U.S.

It's not as bad as it sounds. A camera detects the jaywalker and immediately broadcasts a warning to all the cars close by likely to encounter its path . This could have saved the life of the pedestrian Uber ran over.

Are they going to be as clueless to justice as American authorities, treating victimless and rude jaywalking the same?

Well clearly this won't work. They'll scan one Chinese guy's face and 500m people will get a ticket in the mail.

Named and shamed? Come on. That is not like the Chinese Communist Party. I want to see them go full Judge Dredd with this.

Why not just harvest his organs? That’ll teach him not to break the law.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

It seems possible (likely?) that jaywalking will become a much more serious offense in cities around the world. If autonomous vehicle are successfully programmed to not hit humans at all cost, then jaywalking even across a busy street, should be a relatively low risk activity because one could assume that traffic will simply stop for them. In cities where autonomous vehicles become a significant piece of the mobility infrastructure, the ease of throwing a wrench in then system could be catastrophic. I’d be speculatively bullish on companies working on jaywalking prevention and other forms of urban surveillance (though admittedly this does not necessarily paint a brighter future).

"then jaywalking even across a busy street, should be a relatively low risk activity because one could assume that traffic will simply stop for them"

I suspect that jaywalking will become closer to cutting in line. The cars won't object, but the passengers will react much the same as if you just walked to the middle of a line and attempted

to insert yourself at a small gap.

Shenzhen is known as the Silicon Valley of China. In 1980, the population of Shenzhen was about 30,000. Today it's over 10 million. How has China's population adjusted to the enormous changes in the past 35 years. Are the Chinese more accepting of change or less accepting? If more accepting, what role, if any, does tradition play? A large slice of the American population is steadfastly opposed to change, any change. And that slice has enormous political influence. What does that portend for America in 35 years hence?

"A large slice of the American population is steadfastly opposed to change, any change."

The Amish aren't a large slice of the American population.

Well, not yet.

The demand for Mission Impossible-like masks will surge

All you need is a few infrared LEDs under the brim of your cap to change the facial recognition shape cameras see.

Totalitarism. Soon on a street near you.

Maybe jaywalking will become a new form of extremely conspicuous consumption.

Hold up a sign while you walk, low cost advertising.

How long before the ChiComs realize that techno-totalitarianism is incompatible with continued economic progress?

Maybe; I'd like that to be true. But do you not look at China and think "Maybe political freedom is not as important as I thought it was?" Because they seem to be doing pretty well with economic freedom (at least within their border), and not very much political freedom.

Russia is a less shining example of the same phenomena.

China is well down in GDP per capita. I don’t think it is going to rise so much given the new political repression.

I see a market for this in 7-11s and other "stop and robs", where instead of the grainy video of perps on TV for Crime Stoppers, we can look forward to emails to the local precinct to pick up the identified Mr. Bad Guy, appended with real-time location data from his phone GPS.

In meat space, I noticed about a year ago a sign a bank lobby requesting/requiring people to take off their hats, presumable to improved the video surveillance image.

In Brazil, people can not enter in banks wearing helmets anymore.

Yeah, but hoodies and SJWs exist.

Ban the former and get unpersoned /doxxed/ Nazified by the latter.

More importantly than finding who made of with a loaf of bread or $10 worth of meat, it will enable to locate the journalist reporting on the billion dollar scandals. So then we can happily enjoy the $0.0001 savings per pound due to reduced theft, while paying 10x or 100x the amount as a premium afforded to various types of oligopolists.

I live in Shanghai. Two minutes after jaywalking I got this message on my cell (translated by Google Translate). I saved the screencap - Big Brother got nothing on Shanghai Police Station:

"Citizens and friends, everyone! Respect for the law is very important; pedestrians walk on the sidewalks and do not stop at the red light; non-motorized vehicles obey the rules and do not stop chaos from riding; courtesy is more orderly, and civilization is more secure and safer. Shanghai Police Station"

It is like 1984 with the Two Minutes Hate replaced with Two Seconds Banalities.

The truth about Red China:

And this is where I start wearing a Guy Fawkes mask fricking EVERYWHERE. . .

Well you might get away with a surgical mask, but I suspect someone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask around Shanghai would be subject to close police inspection.

I know of one plan to take it from facial recognition to body-language and body-shape recognition. In this scenario a mask might make it harder for your individual profile to be created but presumably, given enough time or sources, they could say something like "88% likely that person wearing Guy Fawkes masks and with these body characteristics and walking with this cadences is person XYZ". It seems like the sort of system that would be impossible to avoid for people growing up in it but perhaps more fallible for outsiders new to the system or people who leave and come back after large stretches of time?

If you walk without rhythm, you won't attract the Worm.

C'mon, people. No way this is true. Think about how good the iPhone X facial recognition is. It's by far the best in mass production today. The tech required to reliably do what is described here would have to be an order of magnitude better than the iPhone X. Do you *really* think China has made such rapid advancement?

The same technology can be used to detain a flagged journalist:

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