US schools test new AI-powered camera technology to monitor campuses, curb shooting incidents

This has been proposed after witnessing a surge in school shootings with 2021, 2022, and 2023 recording the highest numbers since at least 2008 as per reports.
Last Updated : 22 May 2024, 14:14 IST
Last Updated : 22 May 2024, 14:14 IST

Follow Us :


To detect firearms on school grounds, lawmakers in the US state of Kansas are proposing the use of AI-powered camera systems. This is done in an effort to boost school safety after a rise in shootings nationwide, reported AP.

This has been proposed after witnessing a surge in school shootings with 2021, 2022, and 2023 recording the highest numbers since at least 2008 as per a report by CNN. There were at least 82 incidents in 2023, and 2022 witnessed 46 deadly fatalities.

ZeroEyes, a firm founded by military veterans, have come up with a technology which would trigger alerts for human verification by former law enforcement as well as military personnel before dispatching authorities.

A $5 million in grants for schools to equip AI-backed surveillance cameras, could soon be offered by Kansas. However, Governor Laura Kelly Kansas is yet to approve the expenditures and the academies may have to meet certain requirements, the report said.

“The AI software must be patented, ‘designated as qualified anti-terrorism technology,’ in compliance with certain security industry standards, already in use in at least 30 states and capable of detecting ‘three broad firearm classifications with a minimum of 300 sub-classifications’ and ‘at least 2,000 permutations,” the report stated.

The technology which ZeroEyes came up with was inspired by the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. With legislation enacted earlier this year in Florida and Iowa, the company is currently the only one eligible for similar state weapon detection programmes that will be deployed in Utah and Michigan in 2023. Plans are in the works in Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Colorado. Last Friday, Missouri became the most recent state to authorise such policies, providing $2.5 million in matching grnts to schools so they could buy ZeroEyes' AI technology.

After high-profile shootings like the Virginia Tech massacre, which left 32 people dead in December 2023 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 27 people dead, making it the second deadliest shooting ever, school safety is becoming an increasingly pressing concern. As a potential solution, these AI camera systems are being offered. But the governor of Kansas has not yet given his consent to the law.

How does this AI technology work?

ZeroEyes watches live video feeds for any signs of firearms, using the existing security cameras.

If a possible firearm is spotted by ZeroEyes, a technician in the Operations Center (ZOC) of ZeroEyes quickly checks the image. The technicians look only at images where a firearm might be present.

ZeroEyes instantly approximately within 3-5 seconds, alerts school administrators and law enforcement once the presence of firearm is confirmed by the technician. Details on the number of suspected shooters and their location is also provided.

Published 22 May 2024, 14:14 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us