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A new veteran-owned company is testing AI security camera software in two schools in the United States that can purportedly notice a mass shooter before anyone else.
Aegis AI, founded about a year ago by two business students in Chicago, received $300,000 in funding from top venture capital firms in 2018, and also received funding from 14 angel investors who believe the equipment could aid school administrators in curbing gun violence.
Aegis founders Sonny Tai and Ben Ziomek AEGIS
“We can draw a box around a gun with AI,” said Sonny Tai, one of the student owners. The two owners teamed up with the owner of the Active Self Protection YouTube channel, which posts video clips of gun crimes, to enable their AI software to teach itself how to spot weapons.
The AI security cameras are currently in two schools, with 10 more clients on the way.
As with every new technology, the software does currently get about 1 false positive per week, which Ben Ziomek, the other owner, says is pretty normal.
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“Pretty much every automated system has false positives,” he said.
The company currently doesn’t have a protocol for where this information needs to go. The data obviously needs to be immediately available to local law enforcement or a security firm, but it is too new to have this protocol in place.
In previous mass school shootings, information was available much quicker than it was acted on, like in the case of the Parkland school shooting where no one was watching the security cameras.
The AI security camera software is also just as expensive as other companies in the expanding field of school protection. Each camera costs $20 a month to run, so a school with 100 cameras would cost $24,000 per year.
Regardless, Aegis AI believes that the threat detection market in American schools is a $1.56 billion industry, which means there will be more AI threat detection companies in the near future.