The lifts rising to Yitu Technology’s headquarters have no buttons. The pass cards of the staff and visitors stepping into the elevators that service floors 23 and 25 of a newly built sky­scraper in Shanghai’s Hongqiao business district are read automatically – no swipe required – and each passenger is deposited at their specified floor.
The only way to beat the system and alight at a different floor is to wait for someone who does have access and jump out alongside them. Or, if this were a sci-fi thriller, you’d set off the fire alarms and take the stairs while everyone else was evacuating. But even in that scenario you’d be caught: Yitu’s cameras record everyone coming into the building and tracks them inside. An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm recognises faces and plots the movement of their owners on maps of each floor.
Humans will probably lose the war with AI, so …
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