Visual AI for School Safety: Time to Act


SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor delivers a highly versatile, intelligent, always-on solution leveraging the power of computer vision and artificial intelligence to transform school safety from a reactive approach to a proactive turnkey solution. Visual AI Advisor can automatically detect and act on critical situations, including gun detection, suspicious activity, unauthorized access, and much more. To learn more, read our use case: Increase School Safety With SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor. 


School shootings in America have become a disturbingly frequent occurrence—with devastating consequences for our communities. Since 1970, there have been 2,069 shooting incidents claiming 684 lives and 1,937 injuries—but almost half of them occurred in the last 10 years. This year, there have been 87 people killed or injured in 30 school shootings, including the shooting in May at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. 


These shootings exact an enormous emotional and financial toll on our communities. A study done after the 2007 Virginia Tech University shooting found that the incident cost the public upwards of $48M. Yet, for the individuals and families enduring the nightmare of mental and physical trauma or loss of their loved ones, their suffering will always be incalculable. Thousands have undoubtedly been affected by simply being present during a school shooting—over 311,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since 1999. And the threat of school shootings looms over the vast majority of American students today, with 95% of public schools practicing active shooter drills and lockdown procedures. 


Unsurprisingly, a recent Gallup poll found that 44% of U.S. K-12 parents are concerned about their child’s safety at school, a 10% jump from 2019 and the highest reading since 2001. Parents are also reporting that their children have expressed worry about school safety at near-record levels.

Faced with these mounting statistics and heartbreaking tragedies, state and local government and educational leaders need to explore more effective methods to protect children, teachers, and staff in our schools. The urgent mandate to make schools safer—to prevent and mitigate active shooter incidents however possible—is clear. The stakes could not be higher. The time to act is now. 


What more can be done to safeguard our students, teachers, and staff? 

Prevalent school security measures have proven inadequate or incomplete in many cases to deal with the dynamic, unpredictable scenario of an active shooter. Consider that 22.6% of school shootings have taken place in a parking lot, while 21.8% have occurred within a classroom, hallway, or school building. A total of 25 location categories have been documented. What is the solution for a problem that can arise virtually anywhere inside or outside a school?



Likewise, what safety measure(s) are ready to respond virtually any time of day, as school shootings have been known to occur in morning and afternoon classes, during lunch, and at sporting events?

While tighter control of access to buildings, personal identification badge systems, metal detectors, gunshot detectors, bullet-proof backpacks, active shooter drills, additional security staff, and human-monitored camera surveillance can all be important elements in a school’s security protocol, none of these solutions adequately detect and prevent incidents on their own. They don’t add up to a scalable solution that all school districts can fund or realistically manage across a busy, sprawling campus built for learning, not lockdown procedures.


Many, if not most, schools today have CCTV camera systems, but they are not typically monitored at all times of day, and their primary function leans toward post-incident investigations. Used this way, they are irrelevant for preventing attacks and saving lives when real-time action is the crucial factor. And if a school actually maintained security personnel to watch all live feeds on campus to try to spot an intruder before they act? Studies have shown that humans performing the task of watching video feeds struggle to pay attention for more than 20 minutes. Engagement plummets rapidly when more than one camera competes for their attention. This challenge is exponentially higher when considering the use case of dozens of cameras needed across a school campus at all hours of the day, every day. 


SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor is a scalable, secure, and proactive solution for school safety

What if schools could transform their underutilized video feeds into a dynamic, proactive visual AI platform—using computer vision technology to identify and classify objects and determine the next best actions based on what their cameras “see?” 


AI-powered computer vision technology offers a highly scalable, secure, and proactive solution that’s proven its value in commercial applications worldwide. SparkCognition, a global leader in artificial intelligence, delivers computer vision solutions—also known as visual AI—at scale for Fortune 500 companies and the public sector.


SparkCognition Visual AI Advisor can integrate with a school’s closed-circuit camera feed to detect and track security threats in real time. Visual AI Advisor deploys in days with a low-code/no-code integration framework and is compatible with most schools’ existing camera infrastructure. Visual AI Advisor can automatically recognize situations like a person holding a gun, a suspiciously open or closed door, an unknown vehicle 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. Furthermore, it can immediately alert authorities of the emerging risk to initiate lock-down procedures. 


In blog articles coming soon, we will further explore and explain why Visual AI Advisor is a paradigm-shifting solution for the growing problem of school safety and how its unparalleled ability to identify and respond to real-time security threats allows schools to improve safety across their campus rapidly. 


To learn more today, read our use case:

Increase School Safety With Sparkcognition Visual AI Advisor

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