From the editor's desk: AI and events

SMART Surveillance 2024 News & Events


Andrew Seldon, Editor

Welcome to the 2024 edition of the SMART Surveillance Handbook. Reading through this issue will demonstrate that AI has undoubtedly made its mark on the surveillance industry. Like ‘traditional’ video analytics, AI initially hit the market promising magic and amazing things, only to fail to deliver quite what was expected.

We have reached the stage where the expectations of what AI can do have narrowed, only slightly, and the technology has advanced to the point where it can be trusted for important jobs. However, depending on what you are using AI analytics for (and who you ask), some would say that AI has simply ‘learned’ from older line-crossing and motion detection technologies and is building from there.

Who you talk to will determine your opinion on the above, but it is safe to say surveillance is now embedded in the AI age. Simultaneously, we are also only in the starting blocks, just as Chat GPT and other Gen AI products show. Currently, it is quite simple to detect when something has been written by Chat GPT or one of the other apps unless the person actively tells it to use a different style. This, of course, will also change.

The key to any AI right now is what data is fed into the learning process and how the algorithms are programmed to interpret the data. Google learned about allowing employees to focus on popular social media topics of the day instead of concentrating on making a reliable, professional app. (Maybe it used Facebook as a reliable source of information? Although I am told that mentioning Facebook gives away my age as it should be TikTok or whatever makes it as the favourite thing this month.)

On the topic of the surveillance industry, SMART Security Solutions will be hosting our SMART Surveillance Conference in July. We have a few interesting speakers lined up, so look out for the invitation email.

However, before we get there, SMART Security Solutions was tasked with the job of hosting the Securex Seminar Theatre this year. We have a diverse and interesting line-up over the three days of the event (11 - 13 June 2024), including a debate made possible by ontbytSake, which will include renowned economist from the Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt, along with a couple of additional people to take Dawie’s ‘economy speak’ and make it real to us plebs who understand ‘security speak’. We also have someone talking about ‘bomb threat management’, which may just become critical in the next few years.

BMI’s independent research into the security industry in South Africa will also be given an hour. Some of the findings are surprising (we will put a few short articles about the results in our news briefs), and where even those we expected, proved interesting when seen in cold numbers.

I hope you enjoy the handbook and that it is of value to you. Comments and criticisms are always welcome at [email protected]. See the Securex Seminar Theatre agenda at www.securitysa.com/*seminars24 and look out for the invitation to the surveillance event in July.


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