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The Global Expansion of AI Surveillance

– Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

In this paper for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Steven Feldstein explores which countries are adopting AI surveillance technology, what specific types of AI surveillance governments are deploying and which countries and companies are supplying this technology

To do this, Feldstein develops and presents “an AI Global Surveillance (AIGS) Index—representing one of the first research efforts of its kind.”

As Feldstein explains, "The index compiles empirical data on AI surveillance use for 176 countries around the world. It does not distinguish between legitimate and unlawful uses of AI surveillance. Rather, the purpose of the research is to show how new surveillance capabilities are transforming the ability of governments to monitor and track individuals or systems."

Through creation of the AIGS Index, Feldstein concludes AI surveillance is spreading quickly worldwide - more quickly than previously understood. Furthermore, China is a major driver of AI surveillance worldwide, but U.S. companies are also contributing to this push. And while liberal democracies are the major AI users, autocratic and semi-autocratic countries are more likely to be AI abusers.

A growing number of states are deploying advanced AI surveillance tools to monitor, track, and surveil citizens to accomplish a range of policy objectives—some lawful, others that violate human rights, and many of which fall into a murky middle ground

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