Can Artificial Intelligence Make The World Safer?

Current approaches towards public protection appear to be following Einstein's theory on insanity, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. This brings forward the need to move past traditional defence mechanism and explore new strategies, in which Artificial Intelligence could play a critical role to identify and classify counter measures on potential threats faster than humans.

The use of technology it prevent violence and crime has a long history. The first commercial metal detectors were developed in the 1960’s. However, metal detectors are slow and frequently show false positives and lack the ability to distinguish between different metallic objects. It is not enough to detect a piece of metal, it is also crucial to identify whether it could be a potential threat.

Fortunately, AI is enabling major advances in physical security capabilities. Aside from being able to deploy advanced sensors to screen for knives, guns and other weapons, these new systems use machine learning to get smarter with each screen, creating a database of known objects and classifying them as common objects or a threat. Using AI, advanced screening systems enables people to walk through the detector much more quickly, with substantially greater accuracy.

AI is also being used to improve safety in the air. In recent times, it has become much easier to acquire drones and harder to monitor their usage. A popular example is when the airport incident drew widespread attention when a drone shut down Gatwick Airport in late 2018. New AI-powered technology is being used to mitigate drone attacks by detecting, classifying, monitoring and safely capturing drones that are considered a potential threat. Furthermore, these systems are also capable of developing a map of the airspace and place security measures in certain critical venues. Additionally they can also communicate with capture drones to ensure that the suspicious drones are seized.

Drones have become much easier to acquire, making it easier to use them for criminal activities.

Drones have become much easier to acquire, making it easier to use them for criminal activities.

The increased frequency of criminal activities brings up the need to better counter measures, in which AI has a very critical role to play. Although some argue that Artificial Intelligence could be considered a risk to society, it is evident that it can also have a positive impact and make the world a safer place.