AI Global Surveillance Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is rapidly proliferating around the world. 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.

In order to appropriately address the effects of this technology, it is important to first understand where these tools are being deployed and how they are being used.

Countries using AI surveillance technology

To provide greater clarity, Carnegie presents an AI Global Surveillance (AIGS) Index—representing one of the first research efforts of its kind. 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. It specifically asks:

  • Which countries are adopting AI surveillance technology?
  • What specific types of AI surveillance are governments deploying?
  • Which countries and companies are supplying this technology?

Learn more about our findings and how AI surveillance technology is spreading rapidly around the globe.

Notes

Aggregate Regime Score: Comprised of evenly weighted average of country scores from Freedom in the World 2019, https://freedomhouse.org/report/countries-world-freedom-2019; the EIU Democracy Index 2018, https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index; and the V-Dem Dataset version 9, Electoral Democracy Index, https://www.v-dem.net/en/data/data-version-9/.

Regime Type: The AIGS Index uses a four-part regime category typology established by V-Dem and Regimes of the World: closed autocracies, electoral autocracies, electoral democracies, and liberal democracies. Countries with an average score less than 2.5 are labeled closed autocracies. Countries with an average score between 4.9 and 2.5 are labeled electoral autocracies. Countries with an average score between 7.9 and 5.0 are labeled electoral democracies. Countries with an average score of 8 or higher are labeled liberal democracies. See Anna Lührmann, Marcus Tannenberg, and Staffan I. Lindberg, “Regimes of the World (RoW): Opening New Avenues for the Comparative Study of Political Regimes,” Politics & Governance 6, no. 1 (2018).

“Freedom on the Net 2018” data can be accessed at https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/freedom-net-2018.

Military expenditure data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and can be accessed at https://www.sipri.org/databases/milex.

Data on Belt and Road Initiative participating countries compiled from Dan Kliman and Abigail Grace’s report, “Power Play: Addressing China’s Belt and Road Strategy,” Center for a New American Security, 2018, https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.cnas.org/documents/CNASReport-Power-Play-Addressing-Chinas-Belt-and-Road-Strategy.pdf?mtime=20180920093003, as well as from open source reporting.

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