It's a Bird… It's a Plane… It's a government AI camera!
Peachtree Corners is a city in Georgia with a population of 43 thousand people that is known for its use of smart city technology.
The city has smart parking sensors, bus routes, traffic signals, environmental sensors, and Wi-Fi access points.
The city even owns and operates the Curiosity Lab which is a 5G enabled proving ground for new technology that has “graduated” from a closed laboratory environment.
It’s one of North America’s only real-world testing environments and is available for use free of charge.
Peachtree Commons is constantly working to expand and improve its smart city infrastructure.
Last September the city announced a strategic partnership with IPgallery for an integrated AI-based smart city management system. The city is already receiving input from a variety of sources and wants to be able to operate its Internet of Things and smart devices all from one central room.
As the city continues to implement new technologies, the amount of data is going to grow exponentially. Add in that the data is essentially useless if it can’t be turned into actionable insights that will benefit the community, and the need for such a system is evident.
We’re only three weeks into 2021 and the city has already announced new integrations. First is a partnership with LG-MRI to install BoldVu outdoor displays.
These screens will be used to share traffic-related updates, city announcements and other information with the residents. These boards would also come with sensors that help detect and track environmental factors suck as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Since I follow 5G and smart city technology, I’m definitely going to keep an eye on Peachtree Commons now that its on my radar. Which brings me to the reason that I even bring it up today.
The city announced its deployment of Cawamo’s AI-based video analytics software. Cawamo is a private, UK-based CCTV company. It uses state of the art artificial intelligence and deep machine learning technologies to provide the BEST cost/performance video analytics.
Their aim is specifically the security and safety market and tout that they can transform ANY camera into a “smart, virtual human-like guard”.
Simple installation and operation, plus virtual zero false alerts without switching out current camera hardware makes for a great selling point.
Cities, residents and businesses can use the software to allow existing cameras to utilize suspected robbery detection, fire & smoke detection, people counting and now medical mask detection.
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The city of Peachtree Commons now has the ability to detect crowds and determine if people are violating social distancing requirements. And it can pick out individuals who aren’t wearing required face masks.
Residents of Peachtree Corners don’t have to panic about their privacy just yet. Although I assume that if you’re living there, you would understand the privacy risks of living in a city working to deploy new smart-city technology.
But, either way, that technology has only been applied to the cameras at city hall. Peachtree Corners chief technology officer and assistant city manager Brandon Branham does point out the promise and easer of wider deployment across the city and even within workplaces.
Cawamo’s AI technology monitors live feeds and does its processing from the cloud before presenting the results in an easy-to-read form for users. It claims that it is able to do all of these tasks with facial recognition and that no personal identifiable information is use in the process.
But it also includes the disclaimer “while we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.”
That’s still my concern with some of these technologies. How much data and privacy are we as citizens and consumers willing to give up in exchange for convenience?
From an investment standpoint, It seems like money will continue to move into these types of technologies.
But an advocate of liberty, freedom and privacy; I'm scared as hell on our future.
Artificial Intelligence is for sure one of the industries that I’m keeping a close eye on.
I’ll keep passing on interesting finds and more importantly how to invest when the opportunity arises.
To your prosperity and health,
Joshua M. Belanger