Artificial Intelligence Is Going to Supercharge Surveillance - the Verge
Donald Trump as President, Sessions as AG, a compliant Supreme Court if Trump appoints any more judges. That’s the background for the following.
…These scenarios are still a way off, but we’re already seeing the first fruits of combining artificial intelligence with surveillance. Startup IC Realtime is one example. Its flagship product, unveiled last December, was billed as Google for CCTV. It’s an app and web platform named Ella that uses AI to analyze what’s happening in video feeds and make it instantly searchable. Ella can recognize hundreds of thousands of natural language queries, letting users search footage to find clips showing specific animals, people wearing clothes of a certain color, or even individual car makes and models.
In a web demo, IC Realtime CEO Matt Sailor showed The Verge a version of Ella hooked up to around 40 cameras surveilling an industrial park. He typed in various searches — “a man wearing red,” “UPS vans,” “police cars” — all of which brought up relevant footage in a few seconds. He then narrowed the results by time period and location and pointed out how users can give thumbs-up or thumbs-down to clips to improve the results — just like Netflix.
AI surveillance starts with searchable video
“Let’s say there’s a robbery and you don’t really know what happened,” says Sailor. “But there was a Jeep Wrangler speeding east afterward. So we go in, we search for ‘Jeep Wrangler,’ and there it is.” On-screen, clips begin to populate the feed, showing different Jeep Wranglers gliding past. This will be the first big advantage of combining AI and CCTV, explains Sailor: making it easy to find what you’re looking for. “Without this technology, you’d know nothing more than your camera, and you’d have to sift through hours and hours and hours of video,” he says.