Mount Royal University using A.I to beef up security

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — With some help from artificial intelligence, security will be improved on Mount Royal University’s campus.

“It’s called black screen monitoring,” said Grant Sommerfeld, associate vice-president of Facilities Management. “So the security people now only look at a screen where there’s a change in pattern. And that pattern is based on pixels, the movement of pixels.”

The official name for the technology is iCetana, and this is the first time it has been used in Canada.

Instead of a guard looking at a wall of screens showing the view of all security cameras, this intelligent system only alerts a guard when something out of the ordinary happens.

“So if there’s suddenly people where — at night or a time of day or day of the week where there are not normally people — the system will say this is not usual and pop up a live feed of the area,” said Sommerfeld. “Somebody leaves a backpack behind, it flags this backpack and it pops up an image of that area and you can see that backpack on the floor.”

Sommerfeld added it makes the job of security more reactive, with guards determining on the fly if they should respond to an active concern, instead of looking back on the tapes well after an incident has already occurred.

It also fixes the issue of human attention spans, as a guard is unable to look at hundreds of screens at the same time.

There also should not be any privacy concerns, as the system only looks at pixels — not individual objects or people.

It will get used to the normal type of traffic in an area, and when these pixels are disturbed in an abnormal way, it comes up on the monitor.

Further, new high-resolution, 360-degree cameras have been installed across campus, making it impossible for anyone to come onto the grounds without being seen by at least one camera.

Sommerfeld believes this will make a difference to the school and other organizations are already taking an interest.

“The system has proven itself already and we’re feeling quite good about it, the staff like it and we feel it made the campus safer.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today