South Africa is the 37th most dangerous country on earth, according to this year’s recently-released Global Peace Index (GPI). “A key factor in making South Africa more dangerous even than gang-wracked El Salvador is the easy availability of firearms,” says Laurence Seberini, founder and managing director of Camatica.
There is hope on the horizon, however. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the form of algorithms combined with smart optical cameras are being used to detect weapons in China,” says Seberini. He adds that AI is already being used to detect gunshots in South Africa.
The country is the first outside the United States to implement the “shotspotter” audio technology, which is being used to fight wildlife poaching in the Kruger National Park and gun violence on the Cape Flats. The CSIR is also developing a homegrown version of the technology.
“There is no reason why an optical element cannot be added to help slash gun violence in this country. Optical AI-powered gun detection cameras have the advantage of not being impacted by bias, stereotyping and the profiling that so often raises its head in police stop and search operations,” says Seberini.
This Johannesburg-based facial recognition start-up believes AI will play an ever-increasing role in South Africa’s war on crime. “Facial recognition is used in the serious business of running airports and securing borders. Why can’t we also trust this proven AI technology to search human beings for weapons?”, asks Seberini.
Mr Seberini explains that travelers and shoppers are already being scanned for their safety by state-of-the-art optics at airports, retail stores and other public places where citizens’ safety could be compromised by repeat troublemakers worthy of attention.
He believes facial recognition technology should be routinely scanning large numbers of people for the illegal firearms that are wreaking havoc on our streets and in our homes.
“We need to move with the times and implement state-of-the-art policing solutions that are not impacted by bias,” concludes Seberini.
Seberini’s firm has developed a range of AI-powered facial recognition solutions specifically-designed for different business sectors including retail, transportation and human resources. The firm is now focused on rolling-out its proprietary technology within several public sector environments it believes could benefit from AI.