French authorities tracked down thousands of swimming pools with the help of artificial intelligence and taxed them

The program, developed by Google and Capgemini, recognizes swimming pools in aerial photographs and compares the data with the land registry. The French tested the program in nine out of a hundred departments for a year, and now the authorities want to expand it to the entire territory. The software could also be useful for searching for unannounced extensions, terraces or gazebos.

Owners in France are required to report real estate modifications, including the construction of a swimming pool, to the tax authorities within 90 days. Property tax depends on its value and rises with the pool. A swimming pool with an area of ​​30 square meters will result in an increase in assessed tax of approximately 200 euros (4,900 crowns) per year.

The technology still has certain shortcomings, in April its authors admitted a 30 percent error rate. The program sometimes mistook solar panels for swimming pools, failing to detect buildings hidden under trees or in the shadow of other properties. For example, large doghouses, play elements for children or even tents are also problematic.

France is home to 67 million people, and before the pool construction boom during the covid-19 pandemic, there were an estimated 3.2 million private pools in the country. The tax office hopes that by using the software for the whole of France, it could increase tax collection by 40 million euros (983 million crowns) next year.

Source: EuroZprá by

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