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Police to use behavior recognition systems at RNC


Tampa police will be using “behavior recognition” surveillance cameras and specialized software at the Republican National Convention.

The software, designed by BRS Labs, a Charlotte-area technology firm, uses artificial intelligence that can connect to existing video surveillance systems to detect any potential threats.

The system, entitled “AISight” has been designed, according to BRS owner John Frazzini to be “very similar to what a police officer would do when walking the beat, our software is walking the beat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, attempting to identify unusual or suspicious behavioral activity that give indications of potential threats or security violations.”

BRS Labs’ AISight is designed to learn on its own, about the environment and objects it observes in each surveillance camera’s field of view. Since the way the software learns is perpetual, AISight understands which activities commonly occur in any particular scene, bringing attention to objects or behaviors that are out of the ordinary through real-time alert notification. It begins autonomously learning about every environment it observes from the moment it is connected to a video network.

After the software has been started, it connects to the video network and begins to monitor the unique environment and activities for each individual camera. Each camera view is stored as a separate memory. Elements that are always present in the environment become part of the “background.” Objects that enter the field of view are analyzed based on their appearance, classification and interaction within its environment and other objects. AISight analyzes the structures, sizes, shapes, locations, velocities, accelerations, paths of objects and other characteristics of all objects within the scene and forms memories about them. It also records timestamps for these events and remembers during what times of day or days of the week events most frequently occur.

Just like the “long-term memory” of the Human Brain, the more frequently certain objects and behaviors are observed, the stronger those memories become.

Whenever AISight observes objects and behaviors, it compares these events to its current memories. The less frequently it has observed an event in the past, the weaker its memory will be about the event and the more unusual it will deem the current activity. Unusual activity is immediately reported to security personnel to enable a proactive response to potential threats, but normal activity is ignored. And even when AISight has learned to ignore certain activities, it can still be told to alert security personnel of those activities regardless of how often they occur, if needed.

While Frazzini has acknowledged that the software will be used at Republican National Convention, he did not confirm that the software would be used at the Democratic National Convention.

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