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Dallas school district installs AI spying, surveillance systems to keep an eye on students

  In the name of keeping children safe from mass shootings and other such threats, the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) has   launch...

 In the name of keeping children safe from mass shootings and other such threats, the Dallas Independent School District (ISD) has launched a new pilot program with a company called Davista that uses artificial intelligence (AI) robots to monitor each and every student at all times, and report back to the mother ship whenever a student deviates from his “baseline” behavior.

A chilling, real-life manifestation of the type of futuristic, dystopian technologies portrayed in movies from the past, Dallas ISD’s AI scheme will remove all personal privacy from every student’s life. Using a complex and advanced algorithm, each child’s behavior will be monitored and recorded continuously for use in predicting what that child might do at some point in the future.

Much like what was depicted in the 2002 sci-fi action film Minority Report, Dallas ISD aims to identify “pre-crime” activity with students in order to punish the ones who display behaviors that administrators, or in this case the AI robots they tasked with spying on students, find suspicious.

“The ‘alarm’ that the surveillance system will sound is triggered not by a concerned parent or teacher or administrator, but by a computer that targets, tracks, and predicts the future behavior of children under its never-blinking electronic eye,” explains Joe Wolverton, II, JD, writing for The New American.


If students’ photos and personal data gets leaked to the dark web, Dallas ISD will be complicit in criminal offenses against minors

The fact that Dallas ISD is openly bragging about this new AI spying system is nothing short of chilling. Administrators in the district clearly think they are above the law and seem to be overlooking the fact that if anything goes wrong with the system, their own heads will be on the chopping block.

Imagine for a moment that a hacker invades the system and pulls all the data on students, many of whom are underage, in order to leak it to the dark web. Dallas ISD will quickly find itself criminally culpable for this offense, which is more than likely to occur at some point.

“Would the apologies of the administration of the school district be sufficient to satisfy the concerns or squelch the rage of parents whose children now have their images available to anyone with access to the internet?” Wolverton asks, noting that a “virus” or “Trojan horse” could render such a scenario entirely possible.

“In a cost-benefit analysis of this project, have the costs been reasonably calculated, and have they been made with an eye to protecting the innocence of the children being recorded?”

One wonders if Dallas ISD has even informed students’ parents about the technology and what it entails. Have they been briefed on the precise calculations the system utilizes to detect what administrators consider to be “deviations” from a child’s “baseline” behavior? And what does “baseline” behavior, even mean, in such a context?

“Have they been briefed on whether parents will be afforded access to the images recorded by the system?” Wolverton further asks.

“Have they been briefed on exactly who will have access to that data? Have the names of the programmers and developers been made known to parents so that they can determine the character of those who will be collecting and controlling images of their children?”

Parents with students enrolled at Dallas ISD schools need to be made aware of the new technology, as well as informed about their rights and how they can go about holding the administrators behind it responsible for invading their children’s privacy.

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