Artificial Intelligence: AI Detects Hidden Swimming Pools, Leads French Taxmen To Millions In Revenue
The discovery of thousands of undeclared private swimming pools in France led to a tax bounty of €10m (£8.5m).
An AI software developed by Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and French consulting firm Capgemini (EPA: CAP) deployed as an experiment by French tax authorities resulted in a handsome payoff after it detected more than 20,000 undeclared private swimming pools from aerial images of nine French regions.
Under French law, swimming pools must be declared by the property owners. The downside: higher property taxes applying due to the boost in the value of the property after the addition of the pool. (BBC)
The discoveries led to a collection of €10m (£8.5m) in revenue from the regions of Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Ardèche, Rhône, Haute-Savoie, Vendée, Maine-et-Loire and Morbihan where the AI was trialled.
Swimming pools were in high demand even before the pandemic, and according to data site Statista, France had more than 3.2 million reported private swimming pools in 2020. An average pool of 30 sq m (322 sq ft) is taxed at €200 (£170) a year the media has reported.
However, the pandemic led to a further spike in demand for pools as more and more people worked from home.
Apart from the revenue aspect, the pools are also a serious problem given that France is reeling under the worst directed drought that has led to a shortage of drinking water in more than 100 municipalities.
France may therefore ban new swimming pools all together to conserve water resources.
The success of the swimming pools experiment means the AI may now be rolled out nationwide, and for other hidden assets. Taxmen will also hunt for undeclared home extensions, patios or gazebos – all of which impact taxes on the property.
Related Story: BlackRock Warns of Water Stress, a Climate Change Fallout
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