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AI can track down security footage of you using only your Instagram posts

Patrick Devaney

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Recently we’ve reported on a host of positive AI news stories celebrating the possibilities artificial intelligence offers society as we move forward at pace into the digital age. It is also important, however, to recognize the very real dangers attached to this new technology and the need to temper our desires to embrace it without fully understanding how to use it safely and responsible. An example of why this is so important can be seen in this story as a Belgian artist has shown just how easy it is for AI to track you down using just your Instagram posts.

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Belgian artist Dries Depoorter has created an art project called The Follower that is designed to highlight the scary possibilities offered by Ai-based surveillance. The project uses open cameras from around the world to locate where instagrammers where when they were posting their Instagram photos.

AI can track down security footage of you using only your Instagram posts

There can be no doubting that the results of the art project are terrifying, with the AI model able to search through open camera feeds and then capture the recordings taken at the exact moment the Instagram photos were taken. Depoorter explains on his website the very simple steps he took to set up his AI model:

“How does this work?

  1. Recorded a selection of open cameras for weeks.
  2. Scraped all Instagram photos tagged with the locations of the open cameras.
  3. Software compares the Instagram with the recorded footage.

I launched the project on 12 September 2022. The YouTube video was just created with results of 10 days. I will publish new results on my socials.”

You can see examples from the YouTube video he mentions in the Twitter thread below:

The really scary thing about all this is that Depoorter is just an artist using publicly available technology. Corporations and governments have much greater technology at their fingertips so there is no telling how much more effective their AI-based surveillance capabilities will be in the future.

In other AI news, Meta has handed over the governance of a major AI framework to the Linux Foundation.

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