Artificial Intelligence (AI) was for a long time the stuff of Science Fiction, but recently it has become far more common in our everyday lives.
Smartphones already use a considerable degree of AI, but we are also seeing an influx of dedicated devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo that aim to bring this technology to a broader range of applications.
When it comes to security, AI is already ahead of the curve in terms of applications. Take video analytics for example, data is mined and machines use this to make decisions on potential threats and dangers.
The benefit of AI over less sophisticated systems is that it can intelligently make these decisions, rather than simply reacting to a pre-designed set of instructions. It can learn, it can assess a situation and it can understand behaviour, then either alert a human operator or even make decisions itself - based upon reliable intelligence and an extremely rapid response.
All of this means that machines can, if desired, take away some of the decision-making process from human beings. Naturally, there needs to be a failsafe and safeguards in place to ensure these decisions won’t have an adverse effect on human safety (or even human life!) – but these lightning-quick reactions and insight can be very helpful indeed.
AI in Access Control
AI is already being utilised within the CCTV and video surveillance field – but what about access control? On the surface, you might assume that it is not being used much - but consider facial recognition or biometric systems that analyse a lot of data.
Biometrics systems can be hugely complicated. Consider walking gait analysis, which looks closely at the way people walk and can recognise an individual from their striding patterns. This requires considerable analysis of data and is well beyond the ability of a person, but AI is perfectly suited for this.
It’s no surprise that AI has taken considerable time to develop. It’s a technology that I have seen evolve during my career and have been fascinated to see the diverse and new applications it can be applied to.
Some 15 years ago (before I came to TDSi) I worked in the telecoms industry where we were using voice recognition systems as part of call centre management. These systems were driven by large and powerful computer servers. Fifteen years later, we can all buy relatively inexpensive systems such as Siri or Google that perform similar tasks, using your voice to augment your relationship and interaction with technology.
As technology progresses and processing power continues to improve (as well as becoming more affordable), there will be even more reason to use it in all applications. This will continue to feed the demand for open protocol systems, which are already very prominent in the security sector along with many other industries.
Knowing the Unknown
Being able to share data makes it much easier to mine useful information for any application. AI will help us to find relationships in data that were hidden before, to help us better understand any given situation.
Ultimately an increased reliance on AI will help the security industry to offer greater services and effectiveness at a lower price point. These applications make a lot of sense – security is at the heart of many types of technology already, helping to protect us in an uncertain world.
An Intelligent Future
The pace of development across technology as a whole is staggering and it will be interesting to see where this path leads. Just look at the impetus to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) – the opportunities are almost endless!
AI is a natural progression of this and promises to take security and safety to previously unobtainable levels – which will benefit us all.