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French officials use artificial intelligence powered by Google to tax more than 20,000 untaxed pools

French tax officials were able to use artificial intelligence to uncover thousands of unregistered swimming pools through an unusual experiment.

Nearly EUR10m (PS8.5m), in new revenue, was generated by hidden pools. French law states that a pool added to a house will result in a higher property tax due to its increased overall value.

A trial experiment was conducted in October 2021 to analyze nine French regions using aerial perspectives and software developed by Google and Capgemini. French authorities have announced that they will be implementing the new software throughout France after their recent success.

“We are especially targeting house extensions such as verandas,” said Antoine Magnant (the deputy director general for public finances), to a French outlet. “But, we must make sure the software can locate buildings with large footprints and not dog kennels or children’s playhouses.”

According to Le Parisien, a pool measuring 322 sq. feet in size is subject to a tax of 200 euros per annum. In 2020, the European state had 3.2 million private collections, with an increase in installations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

France is currently facing one of its worst droughts, which has made it impossible to get water in many parts of the country. This prompts a crackdown on undeclared pool owners. France saw 0.38 inches of rainfall last month, making it one of the driest years since 1961.

Officials from the tax department believe that they can use AI software to find other extensions to homes to increase their tax revenue such as pantos and gazebos.

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