Anti-theft app on mobile

Google to pilot AI-based anti-theft phone feature in Brazil

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Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has confirmed plans to roll out a new anti-theft feature for mobile devices leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and lock screens after phone thefts automatically.

Google’s new anti-theft offering will ship in July, but a commercial rollout will not occur until the end of 2024. For now, the AI-based feature will be only available to Brazilians using Android phones with Version 10 or higher during the trial period.

Sources with knowledge of the matter confirm that the anti-theft solution will operate via three main features based on AI. The first will use advanced AI capabilities to identify movements typically associated with mobile phone snatching and automatically prevent access to device screens.

To prevent accidental locking out, Google reportedly stress-tested the model in several scenarios ahead of the pilot but plans to make further additions to the real-world application in Brazil.

The second feature of the anti-theft system allows users to remotely restrict access to stolen devices by inputting phone numbers and completing a verification task. In instances where stolen devices are left for extended periods without internet connectivity, the AI functionality is expected to lock the screen automatically.

“Having a device stolen is unexpected and stressful and it can be hard to react quickly at the moment it happens,” said Google. “That’s why we created features that can automatically recognize suspicious signals and proactively protect your data on the device.”

Alongside these capabilities, Google says it will make it difficult for clients to reset stolen devices for resale by strengthening the factory reset upgrade process. Furthermore, the inclusion of a private space to hide sensitive data is expected to serve as an additional layer of protection for mobile phone users.

A cautious approach is favored by Google to prevent any uproars related to the offering’s reliability, safety and privacy in the face of stiff industry competition. Earlier this year, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) launched a stolen device protection mode but the absence of AI functionalities is expected to give the Alphabet subsidiary a head start.

Brazil has had a challenging time with mobile phone thefts, with the latest figures pointing at nearly one million cases over a 12-month period, forcing the government to launch an app for citizens to report stolen devices.

Google’s AI rampage

Google currently sits at the forefront of AI and emerging technology innovation, a position solidified by the success of its large language models (LLMs) and myriad AI models with real-world use cases.

The company has dabbled in AI models for weather forecasts, breast cancer detection, anti-money laundering compliance, and drug synthesis to stay ahead of the pack. The tech giant is keen on infusing generative AI into its consumer offerings, with Google Search being the biggest recipient of the AI drive.

However, not all AI initiatives have gone according to plan for Google, with critics poking holes at Gemini over the creation of embarrassing and offensive images in early 2024.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

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