Hyderabad: The police are working on using artificial intelligence (AI) to enforce the government’s order making masks mandatory in public. The government has ordered a penalty of Rs 1000 on those found outside their homes without face masks.
The first-of-its-kind, technology-based enforcement will be rolled out soon in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda commisionerates.
The new software is linked to CCTV cameras installed across the city to identify face mask rule violators. Cameras will flag those not wearing the masks and an alert will be sent to the central command control centre at the state police headquarters. This will be passed on to patrolling personnel to immediately check the violators.
Though the technology is able to identify violators, there are some discrepancies which are being rectified. With the help of machine learning, the detection of various kinds of masks is being instilled into the system as some people use towels and handkerchiefs and masks of different colours and with designs. “Unlike registration number plates, identifying a particular mask is difficult. The technology is able to detect people without masks, but some additions are made to it, as people are using different colours and models of masks,” said a senior police official at the state police headquarters.
Responding to a query, the senior official said, “The idea is to create awareness among the public on the necessity of using a mask. The enforcement may take some time. The software will send the details of a place that includes the street name where the violation is observed.”
Director general of police, M. Mahendar Reddy, on Friday tweeted informing the same. “AI-based face mask violation enforcement is being rolled out by the Telangana police.
Leveraging computer vision and deep learning techniques being implemented on surveillance CCTVs across the cities is the first of its kind in India. Shall be enabled across the three commissionerates, Hyderabad, Cyberabad, and Rachakonda.”
Asked about privacy concerns, a police official said, “The machine does not recognise any person. It is not a facial recognition software. There are already surveillance cameras installed across the city, the machine uses the same live video feed. The software is to meant to spot whether or not an individual is wearing a mask, it is not designed to identify the person.”