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Artificial intelligence, or AI, is being used to protect facilities from sports arenas to churches and schools. This technology is used to scan weapons, including guns, knives and explosives, as people walk between standing panels. If a weapon is found, the guards on duty are alerted.
Evolv from Massachusetts has used this technology to scan approximately 300 million people nationwide since the system launched in 2019, second only to TSA.
“Consider walking straight into an event, a school, a building without losing your way,” said Peter George, CEO of Evolv, touting the technology as far less intrusive than traditional metal detectors. “And if you don’t have a weapon with you, you can go right inside. And if you have it, we can identify it.”
Evolv technology is used in large sports stadiums, city hospitals, schools, courts and large casinos, among other sites.
“It’s a non-contact, free-flow weapon screening system,” explains Steve Morandi, Evolv’s vice president of product management. “It really works with the combination of AI, advanced sensors and cameras in a really integrated way. And we basically find weapons compared to the everyday metal items we all carry.”
Bay State-based Liberty Defense has combined AI technology with 3D imaging capable of detecting non-metallic threats such as gunpowder, pipe bombs or ghost pistols made of plastic.
“We are looking for any type of anomaly, any type of threat that can be hidden,” explains Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense. “So, whether it’s a gun, a knife, or plastic explosives that can cause damage, or maybe even drugs or liquids.”
The new HEXWAVE system will be tested this summer at a Hindu temple near Atlanta. University of Wisconsin and Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The proliferation of artificial intelligence technologies in the security industry has alarmed critics.
“What we don’t want to see is America has become a public checkpoint where we get frisked every time we go to any public gathering, church or other place, place of worship or little league game or whatever,” says Jay Stanley, senior political analyst with ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technological project.
Regarding privacy issues, Frain notes: “We do not save any data. No images are saved.”
George says: “We use our artificial intelligence to distinguish a phone from a firearm, but we don’t really look at people at all. We’re only looking for weapons.”