Japan Tests ‘Minority Report’ Style Cameras to Stop Crime Before it Happens

japan minority report behavior detection cameras

Japan will begin testing security cameras equipped with “behavior detection” technology that is designed to catch criminals before they commit crimes.

The artificially intelligent (AI) cameras, which are not unlike the technology in the science-fiction film Minority Report, will be used to protect high-profile public figures in Japan.

The technology comes one year after the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as a failed assassination attempt made on Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Abe was shot by a gunman as he delivered a campaign speech outside a train station in Nara in western Japan on July 8, 2022. The assassination shocked Japan, where gun crime is rare. In April, Kishida managed to escape unhurt after he was targeted by an explosive device in his direction while he was campaigning at a fishing port in Wakayama prefecture in Japan.

Nikkei Asia reports that the AI-equipped cameras could help with the detection of suspicious activity, supplementing existing security measures.

The cameras will focus on machine-learning pattern recognition of three types of detection. These include such as “behavior detection,” which analyzes a person’s movements, “object detection” for spotting guns and weapons, as well as “intrusion detection” for the protection of restricted areas.

With behavior detection, the AI-based camera system learns to detect unusual movements, such as repeatedly looking around, by observing the patterns of suspicious individuals. The National Police Agency of Japan hopes this behavior detection technology will help detect suspicious behavior by single individuals, known as “lone offenders” in the country, in advance in large crowds.

The National Police Agency aims to launch the testing sometime before March 2024. It says it will not include such facial recognition technology in the testing.

The National Police Agency will examine the accuracy of such detection in the testing process and then consider the possibility of utilizing the system in an official capacity.

The AI-based system is reminiscent of the 2002 film Minority Report starring Tom Cruise. In the movie, a specialized police department called “Precrime” apprehends criminals by use of foreknowledge provided by three psychics called “precogs.”

Japan seems quite willing to use cameras in everyday life. In February, PetaPixel reported on a chain of Japanese restaurants that had started using AI cameras to combat the wave of “sushi terrorism” that was gripping the country.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.