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Old 07-18-2022, 12:30 PM   #21
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
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If there are Artificial Intelligences put to work to scan all incoming video real time, and facial recognition is an operational part of law enforcement, what SHOULD the activation number be for the Police as an active ongoing enemy?

My instinct is to set it at a 12 providing that the "fugitive" is taking no care what so ever to avoid the cameras. What what if the fugitive is making an effort? What if the Fugitive stays indoors during the day, and avoids the usual locations that have functional cameras such as surveillance cameras in 7-Eleven style mini-marts? What SKILLS might a fugitive employ as a counter to the activation number so as to lower its value?
It seems to me that if active measures are necessary to deal with the threat, then the Disad is already activated.
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Old 07-18-2022, 12:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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On the other hand, it's a universal surveillance system, you have really good surveillance records of people who came right up to it to damage it. Send Homeland Security stormtroopers to arrest them, confiscate everything they owned to pay for replacement cameras and dismember them for saleable organs to cover paying the stormtroopers bonuses.
If you're talking about a heavily-dystopian setting, sure, you can probably have easily-accessible cameras mounted everywhere and just take everything from and enslave/murder the people who mess with them to make up for the expense. But you can certainly get into higher TL's without going that route, which is what I assumed was the case here.
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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One would think that if you have sufficient skills or resources to FOOL a facial recognition scanner, that the Police forces will not be on the tail of a wanted criminal as easily as would happen vs a criminal who lacks those skills or assets. If a criminal learns to lay low and avoid scanners entirely (which may be very difficult in high density areas of a city for example), then again, he can avoid having the police get a lead on their whereabouts. Having a simple "activation" value for the Police as an enemy should be "modified" by a contest of skills between the hunters and the hunted.
This is the difference between an unopposed skill or Per roll and a QC.

Your average citizen either doesn't know or doesn't care that security cameras are in use. If they commit a crime, it's a simple matter of the police (or AI in the service of the police) making a skill roll, possibly with bonuses for Good- or Fine-Quality software and lots of cameras.

A skilled criminal will know, or at least suspect, that they are under camera surveillance at all times. That means that the police must win a QC vs. whatever skill the criminal is using to evade detection.

On a related note, it's also surprisingly easy to foil security cameras by using an umbrella. Elevated security cameras have trouble seeing the umbrella carrier's face. Used correctly, they might give a bonus of up to +4 to avoid detection.

Umbrellas were heavily used by Hong Kong democracy activists last year to evade detection by Chinese security.

In a pinch, a criminal might be able to avoid recognition by holding their coat tails over their head, using the coat's back to obscure their face. This makes them obvious in other ways and prevents them from using their arms, but it might be worth it. Such measures might give a +1 or +2 bonus to avoid being recognized.

Loose, generic clothing can also defeat camera surveillance. Something like a plain hoodie and sweat pants, cheap common shoes without distinguishing marks, cheap sunglasses, and a plain N-95 mask might give a +1 or +2 bonus to avoid detection.

Currently, the FBI is looking for the person who left pipe bombs next to both the Republican and Democratic National Committee buildings on the night of January 6, 2021. The suspect was wearing exactly this sort of outfit and taking care to not look up as they passed security cameras on their way to the target. The only clue that the FBI has is the slightly unusual brand of shoe the suspect was wearing.
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:51 PM   #24
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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If you're talking about a heavily-dystopian setting, sure, you can probably have easily-accessible cameras mounted everywhere and just take everything from and enslave/murder the people who mess with them to make up for the expense. But you can certainly get into higher TL's without going that route, which is what I assumed was the case here.
You don't have to assume a dystopian setting. Since about 2000, the local police and other government agencies have installed thousands of cameras throughout the London metro area. Furthermore, many businesses also have security cameras installed which provide a view of people in front of the store and across the street from it. The average Londoner gets caught on CCTV about 300 times a day.

https://www.cctv.co.uk/how-many-cctv...ere-in-london/

As of 2020, the London Metropolitan Police were deploying computers running facial recognition programs in order to assist officers in analyzing all this data.

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...nition-cameras

Of course, most of this data never gets seen by a human. It only gets pulled for police review if there is a crime in the area and CCTV might catch the crime or the criminals leaving the scene.

The Met is claiming, probably optimistically, that the facial recognition system is 70% accurate. Independent reviewers claim that it's only 19% accurate. In GURPS terms, that's a base skill of about 13 or a base skill of about 6. Assuming that the police stats are based on software + trained observer, that could easily be Observation 12 + 1 for Good-Quality software.
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:57 PM   #25
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Bunches of guys in masks entering the surveillance net sounds like good grounds to send in the troops for an investigation before they get close to anything. Or for the computer controlled autocannon mounted on them to open fire. How [seriously] do you take protecting your cameras? Not that decent cameras are remarkably expensive even now.
Ultratech systems might also be smart enough to detect specific types of gear based on shape and guess at the user's intent based on their body language.

Such failsafes would be vital if you've got targeting programs programmed to open fire if they detect some sort of threat.

That might give a computer program an effective IQ or Per score with relevant skills like Guns, Law Enforcement, or Soldier, but only to recognize specific types of equipment and to guess at the user's likely intent.
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Old 07-18-2022, 10:59 PM   #26
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You don't have to assume a dystopian setting. Since about 2000, the local police and other government agencies have installed thousands of cameras throughout the London metro area. .
But that's not a situation where cameras immediately call in a flying squad that can arrive before a vandal makes his departure, or just come with a turret to shoot them. The cameras are protected by being hard to get at.
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Old 07-19-2022, 01:48 AM   #27
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

I'd assume
Ubiquitous Computing, UT25
Iris scanners anywhere you'd see billboards now, public transport & facilities, shops.
ONI & wearable computers.
Professional criminals will need to be Zeroed and use temporary identities (B31): "good for one week" and "on a roll of 8 or less".
If you're not prepped to evade the ubiquitous non-surveillance, the authorities will know where you are.
Will they bother to come get you?
Control Rating - Legality Class - severity of crime.
I'd happily link CR to Frequency of Appearance.
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Old 07-19-2022, 02:11 AM   #28
hal
 
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
It seems to me that if active measures are necessary to deal with the threat, then the Disad is already activated.
precautionary measures BEFORE the roll is made is not the same thing as it being activated.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:31 AM   #29
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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But that's not a situation where cameras immediately call in a flying squad that can arrive before a vandal makes his departure, or just come with a turret to shoot them. The cameras are protected by being hard to get at.
Or the cameras are hard to spot.
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Old 07-19-2022, 08:22 AM   #30
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Default Re: Ultratech and The Police

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
In just about every bit of wording for things involving facial recognition in GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e, there does't seem to be any real "skill" or "attribute" tests involved. Artificial Intelligence software or simply database comparison software that measures, categorizes and then compares data points against other datapoints (much like fingerprint software finds matches) - generally tends to be very reliable.

To that end? I would largely avoid using a "skill" approach to facial recognition software. I would largely suspect that the sheer volume of faces being viewed by software may slow things down a bit, but I would suspect that the way it would work is like this:
GURPS High Tech: Electricity and Electronics talks briefly about counter-surveillance on p45, and suggests using a quick contest of Camouflage or Electronics Operation (EW) against the observer's skill. TL8 high-def cameras are at -2 for Observation rolls, and so on. That's for acquiring the image first, but doesn't go into the database action of identifying it. It's probably Intelligence Analysis.

I'm not surprised that other tech books don't have complex gaming rules on how to do mass surveillance and counter-surveillance, it's necessary for space and focus. However, if I were running a game where countermeasures against facial recognition were a central part of the action, then I'd probably put together some useful rules.

As for the setting, we should look at the who, what and wheres of the surveillance.
Who is your PC? Is he a street hood, member of an organised crime unit, a rioter who stole a TV, a habitual mugger, a graffiti tagger, someone who got in a pub brawl then did a runner when the fuzz showed, or what? Does he know he's wanted? Was he trying to avoid fac-rec when he did the crime? What resources does he or his organisation have to avoid fac-rec?

Where does he live? If his neighbourhood is often targetted by the cops, then all the local street kids and gangers might make a regular sport of paintballing surveillance cameras or taking down drones, causing a big blind-spot in the fac-rec network's coverage.

I'd look at it as an arms race between surveillance and counter-surveillance, with the needle swinging back and forward on which has more dominance. Yes, modern day London takes 300 shots a day of regular citizens, but that's because they aren't fighting back against it. For every new sophisticated technique, for spotting hidden weapons or gait analysis or whatever mentioned above, a counter-technique will eventually be found that rules it obsolete. E.g. Does it use near-IR to determine what heavy gear you're carrying? Then maybe people start carrying super-bright IR beacons that dazzle the sensors, or wear overcoats webbed with IR-emitting LEDs.

You just have to determine where in your setting the needle happens to be pointing. Is AI fac-rec dominant, or is mass-social non-compliance providing an effective counter?
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Last edited by Daigoro; 07-19-2022 at 08:27 AM.
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