Visual AI Advisor: A Paradigm Shift for School Safety


In the seven weeks since we wrote our first article on school safety, there have been eight more deaths and 31 more children or adults injured in shootings on K-12 campuses. This past weekend, a shooting on the University of Virginia campus killed three students and wounded two others. 


We continue to call attention to these terrible occurrences because we find them unacceptable. Like you, we can’t get used to the shock of tragic school shootings in our communities. Many of us at SparkCognition are parents of children in K-12 schools or universities. We have younger siblings still in school, or perhaps our spouses, friends, or neighbors are educators. Not only are we personally invested in pursuing an answer to this problem, but as a company, we’re stepping up to present a paradigm-shifting solution that could help save lives during rapidly-unfolding active shooter situations and make school campuses safer day-to-day. 


What would be a better use of AI than preventing school shootings? 

Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence that enables computers and systems to capture and interpret meaningful information from image and video data. By applying machine learning (ML) models to images, computers can be taught to accurately identify and classify objects, deciding the next best action based on what they “see.” Computer vision has already proven its value in a wide range of commercial applications worldwide. It is a breakthrough technology with massive implications for K-12 and university safety, security, and situational awareness.


Our computer vision-powered solution for school safety, SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor, empowers schools to transform their underutilized closed-circuit camera systems (CCTV) into a proactive analytics platform to recognize real-time security threats—including a person drawing a gun, among many other scenarios. In practice, this means that if someone is carrying a gun within view of a school’s cameras—inside or outside the building, 24 hours a day—Visual AI Advisor will automatically detect this risk, collect a snapshot of the perpetrator alongside time-stamp and location data, and immediately alert designated school authorities and law enforcement so they can initiate lock-down procedures much faster. It can even tie in with the school’s alarm systems.  


In addition to its ability to detect and alert authorities of an armed individual from the parking lot to the classroom, Visual AI Advisor is trained to monitor use cases including suspiciously open or closed doors, unknown vehicles entering the parking lot, perimeter monitoring, fire and smoke detection, and many other dynamic scenarios that are key to discovering an active threat as early as possible. 


Wherever cameras can see, Visual AI Advisor can autonomously interpret what’s happening and react accordingly. Visual AI Advisor is capable of running dozens of critical security use cases on a single camera simultaneously, drawing from a portfolio of over 120 pre-built machine learning models. It’s also easy to implement and requires no new hardware: the solution deploys in days to your existing camera infrastructure with a low-code/no-code integration framework. And privacy is factored into Visual AI Advisor by design, deploying securely on-prem or in the cloud without the need to store video files, with configurable options to anonymize faces per a school’s privacy policies and practices.


It’s time to act to prevent future school shootings. SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor is a highly versatile, intelligent, always-on solution leveraging the power of visual AI to transform school safety from a reactive approach to a proactive one. 


Seeing is believing: Our free school safety event is on December 7th at HyperWerx

On December 7th, SparkCognition will host a free in-person event bringing school educators, administrators, safety professionals, and first responders together to see how they can use existing camera infrastructure and AI to prevent school shootings and enhance overall safety.


Preventing School Shootings with AI

  • December 7, 2022 | 9-11:30 AM CST 
  • In-person at HyperWerx in Austin, TX


This special event will include live demos showing how visual AI works to identify and prevent an active shooter in real time. 


You’ll also hear from school administrators and safety officers on their experience implementing visual AI into their security measures and learn how state and federal governments are working to address the school safety crisis, concluding with a panel discussion and audience Q&A.


Please note that while the event is free, seating is limited.


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