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AI and Facial Recognition: The New Tools of School and Institutional Security

By Tim Burke, President

National Sales Manager

Time and awareness. These are two things a security professional could always use more of in their toolkit. Advancements in two technologies — artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition — are showing promise in improving school security and are also being applied to event and hospitality centers, as well as other locations where security is a priority.

To support these new and emerging technologies, e-Systems Group is rolling out a new lineup of security reception consoles specifically designed to support the latest security technologies.

How Your Face is Building Next-Generation Security Technologies

As you stroll down the street, you will likely encounter many faces along the way. We all have unique facial features that make us readily identifiable. Our brains are even hard-wired to automatically sort out facial features, assimilate this information, and give an identity those we meet each day. Fingerprint-, retina-, and face-scanning technologies have been around for a number of years, used in rudimentary ID verification systems. Scanning eyes and thumbprints in crowds would not only be awkward and invasive, but a huge time investment.

In a paper published by Nature Communications, researchers conclude that humans evolved to have individually unique facial features as a way to tell each other apart. Compared to fingerprints and other body parts, the genetic blueprint for the face appears to be deliberately random. Your face, in essence, is the nametag nature gave to you; it’s the feature that makes you unmistakably you. And, you (and/or people like you) are an ally in the development of facial recognition technology.

Presently, we are at the convergence of two events taking facial recognition to the state it is today: large data sets of facial photos and the computing power to sift through this information. The latest security tech can scan a crowd using 3D cameras, then filter this information through a database of known threats.

Analyze Behavioral Cues in Real Time

In 2015, The Telegraph (UK newspaper) remarked on Facebook’s work in identifying and tagging individuals in group photos, even when that individual was turned away from the camera. To answer the question posed in the previous paragraph, facial recognition has gone beyond simple, front-facing snapshots; software can now identify individuals based on their gait, posture, and other identifying features. In security-focused settings software can event alert security personnel to an individual exhibiting odd behavior or holding an object resembling a weapon — events that can give authorities the time and awareness to de-escalate situations.

While facial recognition has been around for a few years, one standout feature of this latest security technology is the ability for the software to look for behavioral cues or even the presence of a weapon. For instance, the software can “learn” the normal patterns of a location and alert security personnel if someone is exhibiting odd behavior.

Adaptable to Site-Specific Threats

Another feature of the latest AI security tools is the ability to update the software with specific security threats. This can be invaluable in situations where a known individual is currently barred entry. Security personnel can update the system using a photograph or footage of the person in question, then assign a threat and alert level if this person should step foot on the property.

Learn More About the Guardian Security Reception Console

To learn more about the Guardian Security Reception Console, visit the e-Systems Group product page.

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