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#ISCWest2019: Challenges of AI in Physical Security

As more enterprise technologies and security solutions tout the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, panelists at the 2019 ISC West conference in Las Vegas asked where the physical security industry is in its overall acceptance, trust in and implementation of AI solutions.

Industry experts discussed what the near-term future of AI looks like in the security industry while recognizing almost unanimously that the promises of AI have not yet been met. All agreed, though, that in the future of AI will be very useful in physical security.

The four person panel, led by Scott Dunn, senior director of business development, solutions and services, Axis Communications AB addressed some misconceptions about AI and its application in video analytics.

“The way the algorithms and technology is deployed and leverages GPUs and accelerator technology is dramatically different than what it was,” said Ken Mills, general manager of IoT, surveillance and security at Dell EMC.

Included in the discussion were the results from an SIA MegaTrends survey, which asked approximately 1,000 security professionals about the ways in which they could benefit from using AI. More than half (51%) of respondents said that it would enhance the features, functions and performance of their products, while 36% believed AI would optimize internal business operations or free up workers to be more creative about automated tasks. In addition, 35% of respondents felt the use of AI would help them make better decisions.

As for the panelists, Jeff Hanagriff, public safety liaison/technology coordinator for the City of Houston, said that in its infancy AI could not keep up with the demands of public safety. “I’m dealing with decision-makers that used to send a firefighter to respond, but now they want to see in the command center, they want to see the camera to see what is going on, so it is helping them to make better decisions.”

AI has also benefited the New York Police Department (NYPD), according to Michael Joy, senior offering manager, IDEMIA National Security Solutions. There are lots of things that generate alerts, and AI helps to compile all of the data collected from the 18,000 cameras across the city. “No one can look at that; it’s not feasible to even try.”

Though when it comes to relying solely on AI to make decisions, Joy said, “we are not there yet.”

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