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Lights, camera, safety!
Where’s the highest crime rate? We all like to feel secure. So how do we keep making our cities safer? The answer lies in data.
An ever-increasing number of connected devices is generating enormous amounts of data, revolutionising many industries. Public safety is no exception. Cities around the world are starting to upgrade their security infrastructure with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Enabled by AI, existing video surveillance networks can provide security services with real-time insights that had never been possible before.
Hitachi’s AI enabled video intelligence, for example, is capable of detecting more than 100 different personal attributes. These include height, approximate age, hairstyle, clothes, bags and even the way people are moving – all without the input of a human operator. The AI then takes these characteristics and turns them into a numerical description, or data profile, and stores them in a feature database. It means that data and bandwidth heavy video is reduced to a dataset that can be rapidly scanned in order to track a subject across any network of cameras. This solves the issue of a suspect moving beyond the range of any single camera. It also doesn’t matter if you can’t see someone’s face or if you can see them only from behind. The system can detect such a variety of characteristics and search on so many different views of the same subject at the same time that you’ll still be able to track them.
This tech works at an extraordinary speed – it can extract the image of the identified person from tens of thousands of recorded images in just one second, 1/40th of the time it would take other systems. This massively reduces the amount of time spent looking at footage, increasing the area covered for the search and creating faster positive outcomes.
The AI technology is equally applicable to looking for lost children in a crowded space, or finding who forgot their briefcase on a station platform. It can be quickly applied to any existing CCTV system, including analogue cameras. Since it is based on an AI engine, it can be trained to analyse non-human subjects such as counting traffic flow, types of vehicles, analysing vehicle licence plates or tracking empty parking spaces.
So, our cities will not just be made safer by helping to identify criminals; they will be actively looking out to help us, whenever we need it.