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The AI juggernaut

The AI juggernaut

Well, Securing New Ground (SNG), the Security Industry Association’s (SIA’s) premier annual executive conference, has wrapped up here in NYC, and I have two letters that can’t get out of my head as I leave the hotel – AI.

Yes, the two-day gathering of executives, entrepreneurs, luminaries – essentially a who’s who of security thought leaders, if you will - covered other relevant topics in the security industry today such as workforce development, biometrics, and data privacy, but the buzzword that seemed to come up at almost every session was “AI.”

I’ll give you a few examples to show why its’s safe to say that AI is reshaping the security industry, in terms of adding value to security and safety operations, as well as its impact on the processes and people who work in the industry.

During “The View from the Top,” SNG’s kickoff panel discussion on Tuesday, Eagle Eye Networks President Ken Francis referred to AI as a “game-changer” in the area of cloud video analytics.

Later that morning, Brivo CEO Steve Van Till (pictured) used a slide presentation during the “Security Megatrends” session to demonstrate how his first SNG presentation from eight years ago evolved from “Big Data is Like Teen Dating” to “AI is Like Teen Dating,” with the following musings – “Everybody talks about it. Nobody knows how to do it. Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it. So everyone claims they are doing it.”

While acknowledging that AI would overtake cyber/physical security as the top SIA Security Megatrend in 2024, Van Till went on to outline the impact of generative AI on security using what he called “three buckets” – tools, training, treachery, citing anomaly detection, predictive threat analysis and dynamic access control as examples of generative AI tools.

If I wasn’t already getting a buzz from the AI buzzword at SNG, I was totally buzzed by Tuesday afternoon as a session totally dedicated to AI – “What AI Means for Your Business” truly took a look at AI’s current and future implications on security applications.

I’ll just give you a taste of some of the panelists’ thoughts on AI, as I don’t want this blog to get too cumbersome.  

Jumbi Edulbehram, global business development, smart cities and spaces at NVIDIA, said this about the value of AI – “People think about AI as something that you go out there and implement and collect some information, etc. There's a whole new area that's developing for companies to utilize to improve their own operations, such as vehicle routing or helping service technicians or call center operations or cybersecurity, AI is pretty much in everything these days.”

Hamish Dobson, CVP, product - enterprise physical security solutions for Motorola Solutions, added, “The power of AI is to really focus the attention of our security professionals on what is most relevant at any given instant in time and then lean on the security professionals to determine the right course of action.”

One of the strongest statements lauding the power of AI in the security space came from Kurt Takahashi, CEO of Netwatch Group, who stated, “You just have to use the technology in order to streamline the operation enough and then enable your people to be successful every day because you’ve got to be able to give them the information that's most relevant to them and what matters now, versus just sitting through a bunch of false alarms. The use of AI from a monitoring perspective is just an absolute must.”

Matt Powell, managing director of Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), made quite an analogy when comparing COVID to AI. “When we look at [Microsoft] Teams adoption, before COVID how many people were really utilizing Teams as heavily as we do in businesses now? If COVID brought us 10 years into the future, AI is bringing us 100 years into the future, and it's happening very quickly.”  

With all of the advantages that AI is seemingly providing for the security industry, are there any concerns? Takahashi pointed out some concerns when it comes to AI.

“There's an industry full of amazing technology companies, but everybody does it a little different, right? So, you have to really, truly understand what the customer use case is, what the application is. The salespeople are going to oversell the technology because they saw it in an ad or they saw it at a show, and they're going to rush to the client saying, ‘I've got this great solution for you.’ And I think that is one of the concerns that I have with AI in general because it's the big thing and it's going to solve a lot of these issues that are driving customers to buy. Can you apply the right technology to the right solution and implement it the right way? I think that's something that we all as practitioners should be very cautious of - to make sure that we're very thoughtful about how we do it, when we do it, and why we do it.”  

Quite a couple of sessions addressing the juggernaut that is, the hot topic that is, the buzzword that is AI. Oh, by the way, AI stands for artificial intelligence.






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