AI Facial Recognition Software Has Been Used to Catch a Murder Suspect in China

China is currently using AI to predict and prevent murders or acts of terrorism.
Donovan Alexander

The concept of someone using artificial intelligence to identify a criminal is no longer just a science fiction plotline.

Developments in AI, as well as facial recognition technology, has opened a pandora's box to the coming age of AI policing, something that is equally exciting and terrifying. Don't believe us? 

Recently a man accused of taking the life of his girlfriend in Southeast China was caught all thanks to an AI-driven facial recognition program. Welcome to the future. 

Using facial recognition to catch a wanted man

Crime-fighting AI is a commonly used trope in both film, television, and anime. Minority Report, Person of Interest, and the critically acclaimed anime Psycho-Pass have plots that center around an advanced technological system ( which is usually AI) that can identify potential criminals.

Though we are not there yet exactly, AI is already becoming a powerful tool for police officers in China and is getting very close to that possibility, already breaking some ground. 


In the case of this Chinese murderer, authorities from the Fujian province were able to catch on to the murderer after he tried to scan his victim's face to apply for a loan. It has been reported that the 29-year-old criminal was caught while trying to dispose of the body. 

However, it was the lending company, Money Station, who made the discovery, or better yet, the AI used to track the potential borrowers. Money Station uses artificial intelligence to verify applicants identity.

The online lending company's software noticed something fishy going on when the victim's lifeless face was being used to apply for the loan, finding no signs of movement in the victim's eyes.

The murderer allegedly strangled his girlfriend to death after a dispute about money. 

Artificial Intelligence is being used to fight crime 

Though this is more an act of coincidence rather than an active act of surveillance, there are far more dystopian cases.

Chinese authorities have made headlines over the past year as "China is using artificial intelligence for social control, and authorities hope to utilize autonomous surveillance technologies to predict crimes before they are committed," reports the Express.

Though the alleged aim is to predict crime, terrorism, and social unrest before it happens, some can not help but draw parallels to the media mentioned above, especially Minority Report. 

Even Meng Jianzhu, the head of the Chinese Community Party’s central commission for political and legal affairs, is ecstatic about the country's use of AI to fight potential crime stating:

“Artificial intelligence can complete tasks with a precision and speed unmatchable by humans, and will drastically improve the predictability, accuracy, and efficiency of social management." 

Do you think artificial intelligence can/should be used to fight or even identify potential criminals?

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board