A company has developed an artificial intelligence program that can detect and alert schools when it notices a weapon.
“The typical school would have 30 to 50 cameras for security purposes,” said Brian Sathianathan, the co-founder and chief digital officer of Iterate.ai.
Iterate.ai, the company behind the system, takes the video feed from security camera, uses AI to analyze for weapons, and automatically alerts existing alert systems installed in schools.
About 91.1% of public schools said they use security cameras to monitor the facility in the 2019-2020 school year, according to the School Survey on Crime and Safety by the National Center for Education Statistics. Responses were provided by the principal or the person most knowledgeable about safety within the school.
About 97.1% of public schools in the 2019-2020 school year survey said they have controlled access to the buildings during school hours, and another 6% said they do random metal detector checks.
“If you look at all the attacks that have happened over the past 15 years or something, there is about six to eight different weapons that have been primary,” said Sathianathan.
The program can immediately detect a weapon that comes into a camera frame, from knives to guns.
There were a total of 93 school shootings with casualties at public and private elementary and secondary schools during the 2020-2021 school year, according to a June 2022 report from the U.S. Department of Education.
The company said it’s not the end all be all to help with this problem.
“When it comes to security, what is really interesting and important is there has to be layers. There are several layers of security you have to put in, we believe that we are one of those such layers. There is no one bulletproof way of securing, because humans can take any number of actions. So that's the hardest problem to solve,” said Sathianathan.
He said the company is currently working on open-sourcing its technology in the future so IT teams in schools can use it themselves. Right now, a school has to hire Iterate.ai to install the program and pay a yearly fee.
“Schools have limited budgets,” said Sathianathan. “Schools can actually take advantage of such a technology like this with no barriers.”