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Chinese construction firms using AI to monitor workers’ safety … but also to spot ‘loiterers’

Artificial intelligence is being used to monitor workers’ behaviour on construction sites across China, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The technology, developed by the Institute of Automation in Beijing, has “made construction sites transparent” with significant improvements in safety and productivity, according to a report published on the academy’s website last month.

The report said the AI was hooked up to CCTV cameras and was able to tell whether an employee was doing their job or “loitering”.

It can also distinguish between different types of activity such as smoking or using a smartphone.

The technology also sends alerts when accidents or safety risks, such as a worker forgetting to wear a helmet or entering an restricted area, are identified, and also tracks people involved in forbidden activities such as fighting.

The system can track every employee on a site using “biological identification” methods such as facial recognition technology.

It was linked to a database with detailed staff information to achieve 24-hours-a-day, “disturbance-free” surveillance, said the report.

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