Refrigerator doors in supermarkets are being replaced with LCD screens that scan a shopper’s face to show personalised pop-up adverts.
Chicago-based Cooler Screens sells its products to stores which show the food or drink available inside.
However, they are also used to display specific adverts based on the physical characteristics of the shopper.
The cameras in the screens are not designed to prevent theft but instead are intended to give a personalised shopping experience through specific adverts.
Supermarket chain Walgreens is believed to be testing the screens in half a dozen of its stores around the US.
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Chicago-based Cooler Screens(pictured) sells its products to stores which show the food or drink available inside. However, they are also used to display specific adverts based on the physical characteristics of the shopper
The technology scans a person’s face to determine their sex and age and then displays relevant animated adverts that marketing experts believe will be of interest.
It is claimed the firm does not partake in ethnic or racial profiling and also does not store the data of an individual.
The concept works in a similar way to the targeted ads that come from Facebook and Google, but those sites require consent and permission to be given to share such data with advertisers.
In the instance of the Cooler Screens product, this consent is never given, it simply scans and profiles whoever is in front of it at any moment.
Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, who identifies as non-binary, told
‘I do not want to live in a world where every place I go my face, my voice, my iris, my body — everything about me — is being catalogued.’
Digital screens used to display adverts in a store is not a new concept but the integration of profiling and person specific commercials may be a step too far for those who value their privacy.
Supermarket chain Walgreens is believed to be testing the screens in half a dozen of its stores around the US. The technology scans a person’s face to determine their sex and age and then displays relevant animated adverts (file photo)
WHY ARE PEOPLE SO WORRIED ABOUT AI?
It is an issue troubling some of the greatest minds in the world at the moment, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk.
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk described AI as our ‘biggest existential threat’ and likened its development as ‘summoning the demon’.
He believes super intelligent machines could use humans as pets.
Professor Stephen Hawking said it is a ‘near certainty’ that a major technological disaster will threaten humanity in the next 1,000 to 10,000 years.
They could steal jobs
More than 60 percent of people fear that robots will lead to there being fewer jobs in the next ten years, according to a 2016 YouGov survey.
And 27 percent predict that it will decrease the number of jobs ‘a lot’ with previous research suggesting admin and service sector workers will be the hardest hit.
As well as posing a threat to our jobs, other experts believe AI could ‘go rogue’ and become too complex for scientists to understand.
A quarter of the respondents predicted robots will become part of everyday life in just 11 to 20 years, with 18 percent predicting this will happen within the next decade.
They could ‘go rogue’
Computer scientist Professor Michael Wooldridge said AI machines could become so intricate that engineers don’t fully understand how they work.
If experts don’t understand how AI algorithms function, they won’t be able to predict when they fail.
This means driverless cars or intelligent robots could make unpredictable ‘out of character’ decisions during critical moments, which could put people in danger.
For instance, the AI behind a driverless car could choose to swerve into pedestrians or crash into barriers instead of deciding to drive sensibly.
They could wipe out humanity
Some people believe AI will wipe out humans completely.
‘Eventually, I think human extinction will probably occur, and technology will likely play a part in this,’ DeepMind’s Shane Legg said in a recent interview.
He singled out artificial intelligence, or AI, as the ‘number one risk for this century’.
Musk warned that AI poses more of a threat to humanity than North Korea.
‘If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,’ the 46-year-old wrote on Twitter.
‘Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated. AI should be too.’
Musk has consistently advocated for governments and private institutions to apply regulations on AI technology.
He has argued that controls are necessary in order protect machines from advancing out of human control