How Are You Going to Monitor Your Security Data?
By some estimates, there are more than 1 billion security cameras in operation today. (Within the next five years, experts predict that there will be tens of billions of security cameras; simply put, they are growing at an exponential rate.) According to IHS Markit Technology, China alone has 567 million surveillance cameras monitoring the activities of its citizens. It should come as no surprise then that China is home to nine out of ten of the most surveilled cities in the world.
Typically, when the media reports on the large number of video surveillance cameras in use, their intention is to highlight privacy concerns. The “Big Brother is Watching You” meme looms large in the public imagination. However, the bigger question is: how is China, or any other country or enterprise, able to successfully make practical use of all the security footage they’re collecting?
Over the course of the last two decades, journalists across various outlets have reported, with some alarm, that humans lose the ability to concentrate on a single task after 8 seconds—if you were paying attention to the problems of human attention span circa 2017, you might have heard reference to a Microsoft study that unfavorably compared our attention spans to that of goldfish. Apparently, goldfish have us beat by one second when it comes to concentration.
The goldfish v. human attention span comparison is actually a story that gets picked up every decade or so when Americans are feeling especially anxious about what technology is doing to our brains. And while it’s largely nonsense—our devices and Netflix are not turning us into hyperactive fish—many peer-reviewed academic studies make clear that we as a species are not very good at concentrating on mundane tasks for sustained periods of time.
Which brings us back to the question of what is being protected by our globe’s billions of cameras. If we’re relying on humans to monitor the activities of others, identify threats and security risks, it’s pretty clear that Big Brother is either going to fall asleep or be distracted by a cat video on their smartphone, completely missing the security threat that appears on their monitors in their third hour of surveillance.
The latest trend in security is AI-based analytics, which overcomes the problem of humans’ natural inattention by automating the identification of certain traits and behaviors, allowing your enterprise’s security personnel to perform the task that is uniquely suited to human intelligence: adjudicating and responding to incidents.
How Is AI Used in Security
Security in 2022 needs to be thought of as a holistic solution: the same biometric AI technology that powers today’s facial recognition cameras is also a critical component of modern access control systems. When we discuss the next generation of AI surveillance technologies below, it will become clear that in the very near future, the entire ecosystem of yesterday’s separate and disconnected security systems will be combined into a single device and platform.
The security solutions we provide our clients revolve around a simple yet critically-important premise: security needs to be proactive rather than reactive; responsive rather than forensic.
AI-powered security enables a proactive approach. Here is a short list of some of the solutions that MCA offers enterprises of all sizes as AI security for business solutions:
Appearance Search – Appearance search AI automatically sorts through selected cameras and durations of footage, locating specific persons, vehicles, or objects, according to the parameters that you input. For example, rather than combing through days of footage to locate a single vehicle, you can select the color and object type, input this into the appearance search software and let the AI provide results for users to engage.
Facial Recognition Cameras – In order to automate the process of locating persons of interest in a vast pool of video data, you need cameras that can support facial recognition technology. For instance, if you’re looking for a particular individual, you can upload a photo into one of our software systems to generate results.
Focus of Attention Interface – A focus of attention interface gives security personnel an easy-to-read topology of your entire camera system represented by color-coded nodes—in addition to AI-powered rules engines to identify activities that require human intervention—making it easy to immediately know what incident is occurring when and where.
Unusual Motion Detection – Unusual motion detection is a self-learning AI video technology that determines what the typical activity in any given environment looks like. Once your system learns what typical activity resembles, it can easily generate red flags when someone or something is out of sync. The system can then proactively notify users when unusual activity has been detected.
The important thing about any type of AI security technology is that it is able to pinpoint and focus the attention of your security personnel and operators on what might be of interest quickly and effectively. It is up to human intelligence to determine whether what your security technology identifies requires a response—in this way, artificial and human intelligence work together to achieve the goal of a more secure and responsible environment for us all.
Looking forward to the future of security, there are many exciting developments on the horizon. If we could come up with two words that capture the future of security they would be: automation and portability.
When our security systems—intrusion detection, access control systems, and video surveillance—remain separate, threats can slip through the proverbial cracks. One of the more fascinating developments in the field of AI security is Augmented Reality for Integrated Electronic Security—or ARIES. Utilizing the Microsoft HoloLens, the ARIES platform offers an ergonomic and untethered wearable head display that will bring video feeds, access control, intrusion detection, and alert information directly to the user.
For instance, think about your typical security guard or law enforcement officer. Today, they may be in radio communication with central command when they’re in the field; otherwise, they’re likely stuck at a desk monitoring video feeds or responding to alarms. With a mixed reality security platform such as ARIES, however, security personnel and law enforcement officers can interact with their environment while receiving video feeds, sending duress signals, and locking down doors or gates. When integrated with industry-leading access control and video management software, mixed reality security provides for a complete surveillance system that optimizes situational awareness.
Answering the question with which we began—how are you going to monitor your surveillance data in 2022?—now seems easy. Artificial intelligence will do the heavy lifting when it comes to sorting through the security data you collect, leaving humans to perform the role best suited for them: making the decision of how to respond to what their intelligent surveillance systems discover.