Maryland’s famous U.K. Professor Builds Surveillance Machine for Communist China


University of Maryland (UMD) professor Dinesh Manocha, a respected scholar in AI and robotics, created machine-learning software “useful for monitoring” that can read people’s personalities and “predicting their behavior” for Chinese tech giant Alibaba. ” Can do.

Manocha built the software as part of a six-figure research grant from Alibaba, which seeks to “classify each pedestrian’s personality and identify other biometric features,” according to the documents. obtained by Daily Beast. “These capabilities will be used to predict the behavior of each pedestrian and are useful for monitoring,” the document read.

(Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)


(Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images))

A 2018 contract signed by the University of Maryland and Alibaba has raised concerns that a US tax-payer-funded university may have contributed directly to the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance capabilities.

“The bottom line is that Alibaba funded American academic research that was geared towards China’s surveillance state,” Ryan Fedasiuk, associate fellow at the Center for New American Security, told the Daily Beast.

The grant document states that Manocha and his research team have pledged to “work closely with Alibaba researchers” to develop monitoring software that can recognize pedestrians based on their unique gait, and identify them ” Can classify into categories such as “aggressive”, “shy” and “impulsive,” among other personalities.

The document also states that the UMD researchers will need to test their algorithms on video provided by Alibaba, and then go to Alibaba laboratories in China, where they will present their findings in person.

In 2020, it was revealed that Alibaba’s product, Cloud Shield, can recognize and classify Uyghur people’s faces. The revelation was concerning given the ongoing Uighur genocide in Xinjiang.

Manocha is a respected scholar in the field of AI and robotics, having earned awards and accolades from Google and IBM, the report said.

Therefore, Alibaba was not the only entity to have commissioned the professor and his research team.

In 2019, while the Alibaba grant was still active, Manocha also received a taxpayer-funded $321,000 grant with the US Department of Defense (DoD), which was looking for a very similar project. And the research output produced by both grants ended up having significant overlap.

Additionally, Manocha’s relationship with Communist China goes beyond his research for Alibaba.

Between 2014 and 2016, the professor worked as a scholar for China’s Thousand Talent Plan, the Communist Party’s program – launched in 2008 – designed to recruit thousands of high-quality foreign experts. The program is also considered a threat to national security by the US government.

The Senate Inquiry Committee has a bipartisan report described The program acts as a reckless elite in government and universities to help the Chinese government steal American technology and get taxpayer money for Chinese research.

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