Pre-crime surveillance to thwart criminal activity

A military-grade surveillance system, with advanced artificial intelligence, is making headlines as it is able to identify terrorists or criminals even before they can commit a crime. 

In 2005, a team of experienced software developers and scientists with backgrounds in computer vision, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and theoretical physics, began working at Behavioural Recognition Systems, Inc. (BRS Labs) to create a technology that would allow computers to autonomously learn to recognise unusual behaviours observed by security cameras and warn security teams about those behaviours.

The results of their work: the AISight System, which accepts video streams from standard cameras, detects and tracks subjects, characterises their appearances and properties, classifies them, learns the patterns of behaviour they exhibit, remembers those patterns, recognises behaviours that deviate from those patterns, and alerts the user about those events in real time.

Unlike general video analytic softwares that receive video data from cameras, and issue alerts based on “very specific and narrowly defined human programmed rules,”  AISight “does not require any human pre-programmed rules, thereby providing an inherently scalable enterprise class software platform to the video surveillance market.” explained John Frazzini, President of BRS Labs.

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The cameras will be able to track up to 150 people at a time in real time and will gradually build up a ‘memory’ of suspicious behaviour to work out what is suspicious.

Suspicious or abnormal behaviour picked up by AISight depends on the environment in which it is operating. Its creators say it can be used to flag everything from “unusual loitering” to activity occurring in restricted areas. It could issue an alert after spotting a person leaving a bag unattended in a crowded airport, for instance, or raise alarm if a person is seen trying to cross a perimeter.

Advanced features also include compensating for poor light or a shaky image, further reducing the need for human supervision.

BRS Labs said it has installed the cameras at tourist attractions, government buildings and military bases in the U.S and it recently installed its devices on the transport system in San Francisco, USA which includes buses, trams and subways.

But the Texas-based company has offices in London, Sao Paulo, and Barcelona – meaning they could be in dozens of places around the world in the near future.

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