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New Muni cameras watch you pick your nose

Next time you’re in a Muni Metro station, you better watch out because Big Brother’s watching you. And by Big Brother, we mean an automated camera that analyzes your every move.

San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority has contracted with security firm BRS Labs to install 22 special AIsight cameras in 12 Muni stations.

The cameras observe locations for a couple weeks and then establish what “normal” behavior looks like. After this, if the AIsight cameras detect any irregular activities, they trigger an alert and send out a real-time text message to Muni staff.

The system’s cameras will use unique algorithms to detect suspicious activity and be able to mature over time while “[having] the capability to learn from what [they] observe.”

In an informational video, a BRS Labs representative explained the behavior recognition:

“This represents a quantum leap from video analytics to behavioral analytics, the ability to apply multiple learned memories combined with environmental factors to accurately recognize the behavior of a person or object as opposed to simply identifying it and locating its position on the screen.”

For the nerds out there that want to know how the system works, BRS Labs President John Frazzini told Fast Company the company’s behavior recognition system uses various computer vision technology and surveillance imagery. Video footage captured by Muni cameras will be automatically translated into code for real-time processing.

BRS Labs also provides behavior recognition software for video surveillance for the government, tourist attractions, and military bases.

The system takes everything into account from the time of day to the speed and path of Muni riders passing through the station.

While the technology is mind-blowing, not everyone is excited about being monitored constantly. likened the cameras to the 2002 scifi thriller “Minority Report”, featuring Tom Cruise, in which police use technology to arrest criminals before a crime has even occurred.

Which begs the question, what would the camera think of Cruise going crazy on Oprah?

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