This Is What Artificial Intelligence Will Do for Video Surveillance

Posted by Melissa Parsons on February 24, 2020

A simple video surveillance system captures what the camera sees. To spot suspicious activity requires someone to watch the cameras or analysts who know how to watch hours of footage to find issues.

AI has exploded in the last decade and now it has found its way in video surveillance. It provides video surveillance with the ability to do much more than an ordinary video surveillance system.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Today’s artificial intelligence is much more than robots and machines that perform tasks. Now, it's enhancing technologies like video surveillance with human intelligence.

Think about times when you searched for an image. If you enter "construction site," the search engine will deliver pictures of construction sites. Yellow hardhats are common. What if you search for "red hardhat?" Try it out on image.google.com. Now, try other colors. Are there green or purple hardhats?

How does the search engine do this? It's highly unlikely all these images contain colors in their file names like purple-hardhat.jpg. Systems have the ability to analyze pictures and extract information. Machine learning trains the system to get better at recognizing features in an image.

You've probably seen an example of facial recognition on a TV show or movie. For instance, an agent puts up a photo of a suspect and then uses the system to compare the photo with a database containing thousands of photos. It does this by mapping the facial features from the original image. All the images in the database have already been mapped and the system searches for a match in the mapping.

How Artificial Intelligence Enhances Video Surveillance

Before AI entered the picture, video surveillance was a passive tool. It only had eyes. It required constant monitoring to catch suspicious activity before or as it happened. Either that, or if a manager did find something wrong, he or she would check the video surveillance footage to piece together what happened.

Adding AI to video surveillance gives it a brain. With embedded artificial intelligence, video surveillance systems can monitor for a specific activity and respond.

In short, AI contains programming that tells the cameras how to analyze what it sees in the feeds and what to do when a specific scenario occurs. This is intelligent video analytics.

While traditional security can help deter crime, intelligent video analytics takes a company's security to another level. For instance, artificial intelligence makes it possible to search feeds. An analyst could search for "woman wearing purple" or make and model of a suspicious car.

The Verge reveals another powerful use for AI tied with video surveillance. Someone in Idaho had built a dam. To ensure compliance with environmental regulations, they needed to count the number of fish making it over the top of the structure.

Originally, someone would watch the fish and keep track. This process leaves a lot of room for human error. The person could lose track or miss some fish. Idaho found a better way using remote video surveillance. They had a system built that could identify types of fish making it to the top of the structure.

This process works similarly for a business that wants to use video surveillance to deter crime. They work with a security company that enters different scenarios in the system. Artificial intelligence monitors for these scenarios. When it has a match, the system tells it what to do.

For example, it may monitor for people approaching the property after work hours. When the system flags this, it notifies the security operator. The operator looks over the feed. The operator may respond by issuing a warning over the speaker or calling emergency.

AI learns from the security operator's feedback. The more feedback it gets, the more accurate it becomes. Pairing AI with an operator greatly reduces errors and false positives.

Using Artificial Intelligence to Deter Crime

Artificial intelligence has the ability to distinguish if someone is running, opening a door, or breaking windows, but can it tell you why someone is running? The person may be training for a marathon or running from the law.

To do this, the video surveillance camera needs a high enough resolution. It also depends on the artificial intelligence's sophistication and programming. You've probably seen video doorbells popping up everywhere. Those videos are not as clear as the technology that some professional-grade equipment companies use.

Businesses looking to use video surveillance to deter crime will want to work with a video surveillance company that specializes in this. No one wants a false positive every time a plastic bag blows past the cameras.

The use of AI in video surveillance creates a more efficient monitoring process. When you combine video analytics and human intelligence, it becomes harder to miss anything suspicious. Artificial intelligence can watch for specific scenarios and alert the operator. Thus, the best video surveillance system depends on both artificial intelligence and humans. It also saves hours of time when searching feeds. This combination greatly increases the chances of catching something.

How to Maximize Artificial Intelligence and Video Surveillance

A U.S. Department of Justice report indicates there's a need for high-quality AI. This report also recommends having a recorder. They advise "the hard evidence made available in the form of a video recording can more than make up for the cost of a recording system."

Recordings can help with liability claims. Say someone claims the property damaged their vehicle. The business can review the recordings to check to see if the vehicle already had damage when it arrived on the property.

There's one more point worth noting from the DOJ report. Posting signs indicating the area is under video surveillance is a good deterrent, but only if there's some form of monitoring involved. There have been lawsuits won because no one checked the cameras.

You want to work with a video surveillance company that stays current on artificial intelligence and security technology. They train the system on normal and abnormal behaviors. This minimizes false positives. With AI taking over the mundane tasks, it increases the operational efficiency of video surveillance. In a nutshell, AI helps security operators do their jobs better. It does not replace them.

Enhancing Security with AI and Video Surveillance

Many businesses rely on security guards to protect their assets. Unfortunately, the cost of security guards grows with each guard hired. A less expensive and more effective solution is to use remote video surveillance. This proactive approach to security removes human errors from the equation.

Security guards cannot record events as they happen. Either they don't see them or they're busy trying to quickly react to the situation at hand. Security companies like Stealth Monitoring specialize in using a combination of video analytics and human intelligence in video surveillance. It typically costs up to 60 percent less than the cost of security guards.

The viideo analytics automatically filters video and detects certain scenarios. As soon as it detects a defined activity, it notifies a trained security operator. Stealth can customize analytics to solve your business problems.

Video surveillance can do more than deter crime and catch it in action. For one, it can help boost productivity. With cameras watching your property, you can spot bottlenecks and identify areas for improvement. Video surveillance helps reduce liability. If someone has a liability claim, you can have analysts review the footage for evidence. To boot, it may reduce your insurance premiums and deliver faster ROI.

The place to begin is to interview a handful of video surveillance companies like Stealth. Ask lots of questions. Ask about camera resolution and recordings. Request video examples.

To maximize your security, you may want to inquire about these services:

  • System health check: This is critical to keep the video surveillance system healthy.
  • Video review: Experts search hours of footage to locate evidence.
  • Consulting and advisory services: Get a security solution based on your business needs.
  • Management reporting: Receive reports with the results of your video surveillance.
  • IT services for remote support: Access IT staff on call 24/7.

To learn more about video surveillance for your business, please contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Video Monitoring