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AI helped Hong Kong Customs catch fake-goods sellers

AI helped Hong Kong Customs boost seizures of counterfeit products by a third in the first half of this year.

Officials have collected 5200 fake items worth HK$1.96 million (US$247,000) during the period with the help of a powerful new computer system that monitors websites and social media at all times.

A departmental source said, “The analytics tool saves us a lot of time screening online platforms manually. It screens multiple platforms at the same time and around the clock, compared with officers taking time to monitor a few sites or identify targets using search engines.”

The AI system is equipped with tools that analyse relevant online trends and jargon as they evolve. The capacity can be scaled up during periods of increased activity.

Counterfeit operations detected by the supercomputer must still be subjected to human investigation before any action is taken.

To date, 113 individuals have been arrested in relation to the copyright offenses, with 17 of these directly resulting from detections made by the AI system – which was also responsible for the largest case cracked during the period, resulting in six arrests and raids on five stores.

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