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Will AI in security replace humans?

30 Sep 2023

Out shopping for boxing gloves at a mall in Muscat recently, I couldn’t help but notice how well secured malls and public places are these days. One of the first things that caught my eye were the CCTV surveillance cameras positioned in every corner of the mall, watching each and every move customers make wherever they are. I also noticed how most clothing shops installed anti-theft equipment outside their shops which create a loud sound whenever someone with an unpaid or stolen item passes by to prevent theft. These are only a few examples of what security systems in public places look like today. 

However, a thought popped in my head. With the advancements in artificial intelligence and the continuous evolution of technology, what would these security systems look like in the near future? And could we see any of these predictions come true here in Oman, especially in the area of digital security?

With advancements, we could be soon seeing surveillance camera solutions providers like Dahua and Hikvision integrate high-level precision AI into their cameras. Through deep learning, the cameras will be able to detect any suspicious behaviour and theft attempts, which will then lead to it sending an alert to security personnel. And if these intelligent systems are installed in places where only authorised individuals can enter, the cameras would be able to identify who can enter and who can’t. We may see fewer security personnel and operations staff due to automated and self-reliant systems in place to do the job.

But what about security personnel who walk around malls? Yes, these may be replaced with technology. We could possibly see public places use automated AI driving drones for security. Equipping AI-integrated cameras with these drones would advance the camera’s mobility allowing it to scan each and every corner of the mall while detecting any suspicious behaviour and reporting back on the same. Why need a physical security staff if I can get a few AI driven drones to do the job?

Replacing security officers and employees by robots, thanks to advancements in technology, is a scary but apparent possibility. Anything is possible with the way AI has been developing. No one’s sure what the future holds for us in digital security, but with the way technology is advancing, we could see loads more happening. One thing is for sure, drones flying while robots roam around will be the next thing in the evolution of AI in digital security.

By Hilal al Barwani

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