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China using facial recognition tech on Uighurs in Xinjiang to detect emotions: Reports

WION Web Team
Beijing, ChinaUpdated: May 26, 2021, 12:30 PM IST

Hong Kong protesters rally in support of Xinjiang Uighurs' human rights in Hong Kong, China Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

China's Xinjiang area is infamous for poor human rights and mistreatment of the minority communities such as Uighurs in the disguise of re-education centres

A software engineer has revealed that the Chinese government had been testing facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to check the state of emotions of the Uighur community in the Xinjiang region.

The revelation was made by the software engineer to BBC’s Panorama programme on  condition of anonymity as the engineer fears for his safety.

China's Xinjiang area is infamous for poor human rights and mistreatment of the minority communities such as Uighurs in the disguise of re-education centres.

It was revealed that the Chinese government has been treating the Uighur community as lab rats and the AI system was being tested on selected individuals. This system helped detect even the slightest changes of emotions in the selected individuals.

"The Chinese government use Uyghurs as test subjects for various experiments just like rats are used in laboratories," the software engineer said. "We placed the emotion detection camera 3m from the subject. It is similar to a lie detector but far more advanced technology."

As per the engineer, the AI software makes pie charts to showcase the result and the majority of the individuals showed a major ‘red zone’ which signifies an anxious state of mind or scared.

He also said that the local police has been using restraint chairs in which “your wrists are locked in place by metal restraints, and [the] same applies to your ankles”.

These claims were dismissed by the Chinese embassy in London who claim "the political, economic, and social rights and freedom of religious belief in all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully guaranteed."

Once again, dismissing all reports of inhumane treatment of the minority communities in the region, the officials said, "people live in harmony regardless of their ethnic backgrounds and enjoy a stable and peaceful life with no restriction to personal freedom".