6 Ways AI Will Change Physical Security

By Guest Post
September 9, 2019

The future of security doesn't include bodyguards and lasers. Instead, it will be a simple yet sophisticated system that's highly intelligent. Technology is rapidly advancing and, with it, artificial intelligence (AI) protocols.

AI promises to change the way we live — from the media we consume to the jobs we hold. In the security sector, it can prevent crime, assist firms, complement the military, and defend buildings, homes and possessions.

Three years may not seem like a long time — that's because it's not. AI technology is already in use across the world. In Hong Kong, HD cameras, facial recognition and remote sensors gather tons of data, while algorithms analyze events in real-time and indicate potential risks.

With smart capabilities, AI can detect if a person is acting out of the ordinary and flag exceptions in the system. There, human operators decide on the correct course of action.

AI in physical security is already powerful. What capabilities can we expect in the near future?

How Can Artificial Intelligence Make Physical Access Protocols More Secure?

With the rapid advance of technology, the integration of AI and physical security will continue, making access protocols more secure. Here's what to expect soon.

1. Video Surveillance Analytics

Typical video surveillance systems can only analyze a crime after it's been committed. There may be enough cameras scattered around your desired area, but not enough people to watch video feeds and scan content.

Deep-learning AI can help overcome this limitation. The software analyzes footage and detects anomalies — indicators of violent behavior — in real-time. AI can prevent criminal acts and allow for a quick reaction when they occur.

2. Access Control Systems

Intelligent access control systems are an all-inclusive solution to physical security. The software takes advantage of automation to monitor your facility, protect sensitive data and diagnose problems. If an issue or vulnerability is found, solutions are recommended.

An access control system allows you to utilize multiple components and failure points, similar to video surveillance. It can alert human personnel to security issues while tracking system uptime.

3. Robot and Drone Patrol

Before the advent of AI, physical security called for human law enforcers. Security personnel patrol the streets and look for potential threats. An understaffed team and lack of equipment can lead to gaps in safety.

With AI, human security officers only need to be on standby in case of potential threats. The actual monitoring can be left up to robots. They can even operate security missions like search and rescue, sometimes with higher rates of success.

4. Automation of Tasks

AI is already helping the security sector by automating repetitive tasks, allowing organizations to reallocate human staff. AI can "watch" hundreds of hours of video in a matter of seconds. It also can distinguish between different videos, ideal if looking for a specific person.

There are several types of artificial intelligence, starting with reactive machines and ending with self-awareness. Self-driving cars are classified as limited memory, meaning they can look into the past. In the future, AI may have self-awareness and be able to predict the feelings of others. Repetitive tasks may transition into opportunities to mine data.

5. Crowd Monitoring

Monitoring a large crowd — like a busy street, metro station, shopping area or concert — can be difficult, especially with a limited workforce. Tracking each individual's activity and behavior would be nearly impossible.

AI crowd monitoring systems can track each person in a designated area, down to the footfall. Smart sensors can detect objects made with specific materials and discern their shape, even when hidden from sight. Human personnel is alerted if a weapon is discovered.

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6. Decision-Making Capabilities

AI technology is used by consumers every day. Have you ever asked Siri to dial a number or Alexa to look up directions? Soon, security personnel will be able to use this technology to make split-second decisions.

With AI, professionals can determine which events require a call to law enforcement and which are false alarms. While still in the prototype stage, this technology has the potential to increase the rapid response rate to security incidents.

The Future of AI in Physical Security

There's no doubt the future of AI is coming. How will new conveniences meet with the debate about privacy, especially personal data security? Those who currently utilize AI security don't anticipate pushback.

According to Paul Chong, chief executive of Singapore-based security company Certis Group, people trust their information is being collected for the right reason. "So long as people see that their information is not abused, they'd trade it for security, they'd trade it for convenience, they'd trade it for a lot of other things."

However, it only takes one instance of abuse to see pushback.How will AI and physical security come together in the next three years? Only time will tell.


Kayla Matthews writes about AI, cybersecurity and data privacy for Security Boulevard, Information Age, Security Magazine and Malwarebytes. To read more from Kayla, visit her blog, Productivity Bytes.

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