Milestone Systems is embracing artificial intelligence and deep learning in a big way at this week's yearly Milestone Community Days (MIPS 2018) in Las Vegas. The Danish company's theme is "Creating an Intelligent World," and Milestone's stated goal is to make "the Milestone community part of every surveillance installation in the world." 

 

Science fiction becomes reality

In a presentation on opening day, Milestone CSMO Kenneth Hune Petersen pointed to the 2002 movie The Minority Report as highlighting a variety of gadgets and systems that seemed futuristic at the time but are now perfectly possible, and in some cases outdated.

Films have previously highlighted gadgets and systems that were futuristic, but are now perfectly possible, or outdated

"If we dare to dream together we can make this a better world," says Petersen. "Through AI and machine learning, we can help define tomorrow. There's no doubt about it: There is a massive business opportunity for us in artificial intelligence."

Despite all the talk about artificial intelligence, only about 0.5 percent of all the data in the world has currently been analysed or used, says Peterson.

"Our open platform technology is the foundation for intelligent video systems and our partners have the expertise and infrastructure needed to reach the next frontier in intelligent video solutions," said Bjørn Skou Eilertsen, Milestone Systems CTO. "Together, we can provide unlimited solutions for our customers."

Deeper integration and broader coverage

Expanding the Milestone community this year has included the addition of 1,000 new models of supported hardware devices; there are currently more than 7,000 models supported. Milestone is also pursuing broader coverage of installations through their partners, with deeper integration of functionality, and by deepening existing relationships with customers.

Expanding the Milestone community this year has included the addition of 1,000 new models of supported hardware devices
‘Creating an intelligent world’ includes deep learning and lots of video systems, says Milestone at their annual conference

Under new agreements, hardware partners such as Dell EMC and BCDVideo now provide XProtect Essential+ software pre-loaded on servers they sell.

The focus at MIPS 2018 on AI included a presentation by Tanmay Bakshi, the "world's youngest IBM coder" and TED Talk speaker, at 14 years old. The prodigy, who has been coding since the age of 4, has worked with IBM and other companies on a variety of AI-related projects.

Using deep learning with video is currently limited because so much video is unlabelled and unstructured

In his MIPS 2018 keynote speech, Bakshi traced the development of AI through high-profile events, such as IBM's development of the "Watson" computer, which successfully competed on Jeopardy!, and Google's development of AlphaGo, a program that successfully plays the complex ancient board game, Go.

Data demands deep-learning

Bakshi focused on security and healthcare as two disciplines where deep learning can potentially have a big impact. Using deep learning with video is currently limited because so much video is unlabeled and unstructured.

Still, projections are that there will be a billion cameras worldwide by 2020, providing an over-abundance of data that demands the use of deep learning to make sense of it all.

"There is a misconception that AI is meant to replace us, to make humans obsolete. AI is not replacing us. It is created by humans to amplify human skills. AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently," said Bakshi. He suggested that AI is equivalent to IA; Bakshi's abbreviation meaning "intelligence augmented."

AI-driven intelligent video analytics can now achieve

AI can reduce information overload to enable humans to work with the data more efficiently

The ability to scale AI applications using "distributed deep learning" and graphics processing unit (GPU) hardware is paving the way for greater use of deep learning in video applications.

Adam Scraba, Global Business Development Lead at NVIDIA, outlined the trends that are making the current "Big Bang" of deep learning possible. He said it is "the most exciting time in tech history," with "software that can write its own software" now among the tools that make previously unsolvable problems now solvable. AI-driven intelligent video analytics can now achieve "super-human" results, he said.

An intelligent world to combat crime

Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer alone, entire investigations now take hours instead of days

A success story about the game-changing capabilities of video data was supplied by Hartford, Conn.'s Capital City Crime Center (C4). The Hartford police department uses video data in a "predictive policing" approach.

They have created an "intelligent world with smart policing to combat drug trafficking," according to C4 Supervisor Johnmichael O'Hare of the Hartford Police Department. Instead of sitting for hours staking out a suspected drug dealer, for example, video of a site can be analysed to determine areas with higher levels of foot traffic that indicate drug buys.

The result is investigations that take hours instead of days. Hartford incorporates several technologies, including ShotSpotter gunshot detection, Briefcam video synopsis and other systems, all tied together using the Milestone platform.

More than 700 attendees make MIPS 2018 the largest such event ever, and exhibits by around 60 Milestone partner companies attest to the continuing expansion of the Milestone community.

[Main image: Tanmay Bakshi (left) and Johnmichael O’Hare of the Hartford Police Department (right) discuss key security issues of the modern day]