Giving Compass' Take:

• Mark Keierleber reports that in the post-Parkland era, schools are turning to artificial intelligence surveillance, sparking controversy. 

• How can schools balance the need for safety with civil rights? 

• Learn about improving school safety

“Artificial intelligence to help law enforcement stop crime before it starts or escalates, like Minority Report but in real life, is becoming a reality,” a communications specialist for Athena Security said in a recent email. The company was promoting its new surveillance cameras, which use artificial intelligence to identify guns before a shot is fired. Once a weapon is spotted, law enforcement is notified and an intercom system tells the gunman that police are on the way. Archbishop Wood High School, a private Catholic institution in Pennsylvania, was the first campus to implement the company’s technology.

“Our first feature is gun detection,” said Lisa Falzone, Athena’s co-founder and CEO. Down the road, she said, the technology will be able to detect other activity, including fights. “We just did guns because people were dying and we wanted to do something about it.”

After two mass school shootings unfolded on American campuses last year, school officials and lawmakers have expended significant energy — and money — on physical security measures in an effort to protect children from violence. Athena is just one in a crowd of companies looking to tap into the $2.7 billion school security market. As schools like Archbishop Wood buy into surveillance through artificial intelligence, they’ve come under scrutiny from civil rights advocates who are concerned about pervasive government surveillance, potential bias, and the effects false positives could have on children who face accusations.

Read the full article about controversial artificial intelligence surveillance by Mark Keierleber at The 74.