The United States Air Force (USAF) has begun crafting a system that implements artificial intelligence and drone technology in recent weeks, to counteract potential active shooters on military bases and installations.
A Philadelphia-based company named ZeroEyes created, “The Drone-Robot Enabled Active Shooter Deterrence system,” to overlay the company’s A.I. gun-detection software over CCTV footage at the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota — with the ultimate goal of identifying and then distracting potential shooters, using drones or other robots.
“The entire idea behind the platform is being able to take a robot and ultimately impede, disorient an active threat on an installation before they can do any more damage,” said JT Wilkins, senior vice president of government solutions at ZeroEyes, the National Defense Magazine reported.
A weapon is visible for two to 30 minutes before a shooting begins, Wilkins claimed.
“So that’s ultimately where we want to be able to get these detections out and be able to send a robot to potentially interdict while we’re getting up a squad car from one side of the base to the other,” he added.
Once a shooter is identified, a human reviewer deploys the drones or robotic dog, to intercept the danger and act as a force multiplier for security personnel, according to the company head.
“You know that every A.I. is going to throw false positives, and that’s why we put a human reviewer in there to make sure that we can mitigate some of that,” Wilkins said, regarding human oversight of the system.
The pilot program is set to last for 15 months under a Small Business Innovation Research grant from AFWERX, the service’s technology accelerator. The A.I. gun-detection software is also being tested at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
Since the Fort Hood shooting back in 2009, there have been 30 separate shooting incidents at American military bases across the country, per The New York Times.
With increasing attention towards preventing mass shootings across the country, it’s good to see the American military utilizing its technological superiority, in an effort provide tangible countermeasures against a very real and active threat.
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