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Using AI to estimate crowd sizes

This recent NY Times article about crowd estimates for Hong Kong’s annual pro-democracy protest is a good follow-up to my post about the number of people who, allegedly, showed up to last month’s NBA Championship parade here in Toronto.

For years, Hong Kong has been seeing divergent estimates for its annual protest. Organizers typically overstate. And the police typically understate. This year, organizers claimed 550,000 people in attendance, whereas the police claimed only 190,000.

The difference this year is that a local tech company has started using AI software (loaded up onto iPads) to help supplement the standard practice manual counts. This year they concluded — perhaps more definitively — that 265,000 people protested in the streets of Hong Kong.

Image: NY Times

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