HOME SECURITY AI
The latest innovation in home security is the addition of Artificial Intelligence — also known as “AI.” If you’ve imagined the worst concerning a futuristic-sounding technology coming into your home, you are in good company. These days, the term AI looms large in the collective imagination. Popular shows like Westworld and classic films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey explore worlds where robots have more intelligence than humans.
Many people would perhaps agree with Conrad Gessner, a Swiss scientist, when he stated that this overwhelming abundance of data is both “confusing and harmful” for people. However, Gessner died in 1565, and his writing referred to the most terrifying technology of his time: the printing press. Easy access to printed material created real cause for concern among many influential thinkers in the 16th century.
Will the day ever come that artificial intelligence — like the printing press — is indispensable to how we live and work? Who knows! In the meantime it’s fun to revisit some of our worst tech nightmares of the past couple of centuries, and how they became something we can’t imagine living without, today.
In Ernest Freeburg’s book The Age of Edison, Americans in the 19th century — including the President — were somewhat terrified by the advent of electricity in homes and businesses. Along with the technology came speculation, fear, and real-world accidents to feed nightmares. In one, Freeburg describes a New York City lineman’s unfortunate demise after becoming trapped in a live wire tangle. “As comrades struggled to free his corpse, thousands of New Yorkers gazed up, watching flames shoot from the lineman’s mouth and nostrils and roast his hands and feet.”
Perhaps for that reason, Benjamin Harrison, the first President to install electrical wiring in the White House, refused to touch the switches out of fear of electrocution. White House staff were thus the sole operators of the light switches.
For years, Americans were engaged in debates about the implications of electricity, and in creating policies around its use. That was the 1890’s. Since then, In spite of our fears, Americans have grown deeply accustomed to the benefits of electricity. No more fumes, matches, or smells of gas lamps, and no more need to stay close to home and hearth at night. With electricity came the invention of nightlife, photography, and the ability to explore and play long past sundown. Even the holdouts who seek a life “off-grid” still often consider alternative electricity generation, to help simplify their existence. We cannot imagine our lives now, without the flow of electricity.
There’s a deep fear reflected in the term “horseless carriage.” In the 1890’s, people were very concerned by the idea of people being sole operators of the machine without the help and intelligence of horses. A carriage being driven without two minds in control? Reckless!
In England, these fears of horseless operators led to the Red Flag Act, in which all vehicles were to be led at walking pace by an operator holding a red flag. The speed limits were 2MPH in the city, and 4MPH in the country. Every driver was also required to have at least two mechanics.
Today, of course, we can’t imagine a world without interstates and the ability to move around quickly and conveniently, in automobiles, without the watch of red flag operators.
Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, contributed enormously to the field of wireless technology when he perfected a two-way radio transmitter in 1895. When Marconi appealed to the Italian government for funding, the Minister dismissed the concept on the spot — and referred Marconi instead to an insane asylum.
“Have I done the world good, or have I added a menace?” Marconi wrote. Later, radio technology would prove useful to his own government as well as governments around the world, and make its way into nearly every home and community, fostering an entire industry and culture around popular radio news and shows. Life as we know it without radio? Impossible.
An unconscionable intrusion on privacy, the telephone was thoroughly cut down by an editor of the New York Times. “We will soon be nothing but transparent heaps of jelly to each other” states an editorial of 1877.
With the prevalence of telephones today, we are all too familiar with the idea of that intrusion of privacy, and perhaps the Times was correct on that point. However, could we conceive of doing business and staying in touch with family and friends without the telephone? Probably not. In spite of its drawbacks, the telephone is here to stay, and we rely on it.
The current popular fascination with Artificial Intelligence is similar to the way many reacted to new technologies in the past. People wonder — and worry — what it would be like if robots took over our work, and controlled our lives. With artificial intelligence is in its infancy, everyone is talking, and everyone has questions.
The reality, according to Statsbot, is more complicated, and much less exciting than the terror created by HAL-9000 in 2001. In actuality, we are very far from robot-controlled homes, but we are perfecting a very narrow category of AI (called simply “Narrow AI” or sometimes “weak” AI). Narrow AI is the most prevalent in use today, and it already exists on your smartphone, or perhaps in your home if you utilize a smart home hub. Narrow AI devices are taught simple automation tasks, and how to process new data for defined purposes.
HAL’s level of fictional technology would require machines to be able to process data in incredibly complex ways, but we’re just not there yet. For an example, watch two Amazon Echos having a conversation, to understand the limitations of Narrow AI.
Narrow AI is Here, and You Probably Already Rely on It
If you like to use a ride service, public transit, a voice-activated assistant to check the weather on your phone, you are already relying on Narrow AI. When you look up a destination using Google Maps, AI technology will let you know the fastest route, and if there is traffic. When you ask Siri for the weather, and fully expect a pretty accurate prediction, you’ve just used Narrow AI.
Home Security and AI
The convenience of knowing the fastest route to your destination, or get a reasonably accurate prediction of weather is something many people rely on. Likewise, Deep Sentinel believes that AI will become a standard feature that consumers will rely upon in home security.
Deep Sentinel engineers have equipped the security Hub with AI which can interpret incoming alerts, and filter out ones which are inconsequential. For example, when a squirrel decides to run along the front porch, or the leaves start falling from the trees — your Deep Sentinel system will stay quiet.
If, however, the system detects behavior associated with criminal activity, an alert will be sent immediately to the Sentinels and to the customer. This means your alerts truly mean something, and you have little risk of tuning them out. This also means that law enforcement takes your alert seriously, and sends real time response.
The AI assist helps the detection and alert process go much more quickly, accurately, and helps cut down on alerts as well as improve safety. Deep Sentinel’s law enforcement advisers tell us that time is an advantage in a home invasion. If police can be notified within seconds of an invasion, they have a much better chance at catching the criminals in the act. Most importantly, if police are only called when they are truly needed, their resources are spent wisely.
Deep Sentinel has worked from the beginning to design home security AI into its system. More than an add-on feature or afterthought, the Deep Sentinel AI system has been purposefully designed from the beginning with privacy and home security as its top priorities, ultimately working toward the goal of true peace of mind and privacy.