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CCTV cameras and AI



What if our digital eyes develop the brains to match? We’re at the very beginning of this AI journey but the building, testing and implementation is already happening. Security Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing human intelligence to everyday technologies. Soon enough artificial intelligence analysing our surveillance cameras will be as normal as a cup of coffee with breakfast.

CCTV cameras with built in video analytics analyse the data in real time and detect abnormal activities. Similarly to Google, we can use a surveillance system to search for these abnormalities and risk factors to determine an efficient and effective surveillance response. Artificial intelligence could change the face of video surveillance as we know it. 

You know how your smartphone detects faces on the screen, automatically takes a picture and enhances your features? Imagine if your security camera could detect and sharpen all kinds of movement, faces, objects, animals and behaviours. You’ll never have to slog through 12 hours of boring camera footage while fighting nodding off again! 

What is an AI Security Camera?

AI security cameras are specialized CCTV cameras that perform advanced analytical functions such as detection of vehicles, people, faces, objects, counting such as traffic, people and animals as well as things like license plate recognition (LPR). These AI functions are achieved using highly advanced built-in video analytics software.


How is AI Used In Security and Surveillance?

Artificial Intelligence has begun to play a key role in video surveillance and achieving better security by preventing criminal and dangerous events in our modern society. Some AI based security systems are using machine based learning. This enables the cameras to “learn” what is normal behaviour for an area and send alerts based on activity that is abnormal. These AI systems also enable triggers, for instance, if a retail store wants to be alerted for loiterers, the system will inform security personnel if a person is detected loitering on or outside the premises where the video cameras are pointed and the situation can be dealt with in real-time.

The number of CCTV cameras in Auckland alone have more than doubled in the last 5 years. If we think about how our cities and nations are being watched 24/7, taking into consideration the number of government, public and private surveillance cameras we have around the globe. The amount of CCTV data generated simply cannot be handled by human capacities anymore. The security industry is working with AI technologies to help raise alert to risks and suspicious behaviours in a fast and efficient manner. With human security teams monitoring the surveillance systems, security becomes more effective as a whole.

AI cameras make real-time monitoring and intelligent analysis of surveillance footage possible and have the potential to prevent occurrences of events such as theft. Instead of depending solely on human monitoring, AI systems are built to detect and analyse certain human behaviours which can notify a security officer of potential threats as they happen. The security professionals work in symbiosis with the AI so the disturbances can subsequently be assessed by the human eye, which, let’s not forget, right now is still much more highly complex than any artificial intelligence.


What Are The Benefits of an AI CCTV Camera?

Consider all the ways AI already makes our lives easier, we’re accustomed to Amazon anticipating what we want to buy and Netflix recommending the next shows we watch. AI is transforming how we rely on technology, enabling our race to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before. It makes our jobs simpler and our outputs more accurate. Surveillance is no exception.

Using AI in a phone's camera interface can detect a subject in the camera frame (landscape, food, fireworks etc.) and accordingly adjust the settings for the best possible image. AI can also identify facial features and automatically enhance them for a superior portrait. Imagine this within security systems. AI works advantageously to produce a much clearer picture than a regular CCTV camera, detecting and identifying specific details like faces, objects, animals and licence plates from a distance or among crowds.

There are many advantages of AI surveillance systems such as: 

Saving Time and Resources

AI has the ability to work around the clock without getting tired or the need for breaks. Studies have shown that humans engaged in mundane tasks have a full attention span of just 20 minutes, after that the attention to detail depletes. AI enables more reliable coverage and cost effective solutions to security teams. 

Eliminating Human Error

Eliminating human error is a driving force behind bringing AI into surveillance through video analytics. These systems have the ability to rigorously analyse data through complex algorithms, allowing them to capture details that the human eye may miss. 

Capturing Events As They Happen

Allowing for more real-time responsive action - instead of being used as evidence in a situation after the fact, With the use of motion detection and behavioural analytics AI systems can stop a crime in the act and in the future, potentially before it’s even happened.

What Are The Limitations of AI in CCTV Cameras

AI surveillance is still in the early years of discovery and development and we have to set our expectations to line up with the reality that we’re not quite there yet. They don’t have the level of intelligence of a human who subconsciously does what AI is being trained to do. We read licence plates and recognise faces without thinking about it and take this skill for granted. 

Due to this, we may be expecting too much of artificial intelligence right now in its infancy, as it may decipher scenarios in a different manner to us. For example, someone running for a bus may be misinterpreted as someone running away from the scene of a crime by AI. Even something as simple as facial recognition can be wrongly interpreted, which could lead to many issues if someone is accused of a crime.

For this reason, it is fundamentally important we take these limitations into account and use AI in symbiosis with human intelligence to make the most of this technology. Yes, it can tremendously aid our ability and efficiency when it comes to surveillance management but we have to use it wisely.


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