One Startup Wants to Stop School Shootings With Gun-Detecting AI

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July 3, 2019

One startup says that it can use artificial intelligence to more quickly notify law enforcement working in public spaces when a brandished gun appears in a video security feed.

Aegis AI, which was co-founded last year by CPO Benjamin Ziomek and CEO Sonny Tai, has raised $2.2 million, according to Crunchbase.

Aegis says its technology works as an extension of existing security systems, clearly pointing out when a firearm has appeared in a video feed.

"We use a new form of artificial intelligence called deep learning ー specifically convolutional neural networks," explained Ziomek. "We've taught a computer, using of hundreds of thousands of proprietary images of gun crimes, how to look for the shape of a pistol or rifle in any image."

"That means we can detect the shape of a gun far more accurately than a human can," he added. The company says it only stores footage with frames that display a firearm.

"When we started building this company, we wanted to make sure that we built something that was cost-efficient that was also highly accurate," said Tai.

"In terms of market opportunity, we find that there are 130,000 K-through-12 schools throughout the United States alone. That alone comprises about a $3 billion opportunity," he added.

Most of Aegis' current customers are schools, Tai said, but the company is also piloting its services with several Fortune 500 companies.

The company would not share the names of clients due to non-disclosure agreements, adding that clients don't want to reveal that they're using the software because people could try to circumvent their system.

Ziomek said that the money it has raised thus far will go towards improving the speed of their technology and acquiring more customers.