UMC to upgrade security system with AI technology

Military-grade AI technology will scan for guns
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Usually, people go into a hospital to get medically screened, but starting this fall UMC will be screening people before they even enter the building.

UMC is getting an upgraded security system; it is one of the first hospitals in the region to use AI gun-detection-based security.

“As people come and go the system will automatically be looking and surveying folks for weapons,” UMC Senior Vice President of Support Services Jeff Hill said.

The military-grade technology is called Zeroeyes, AI technology implemented onto existing security cameras. Its sole purpose is to identify guns.

“You look at the situation in Robb Elementary and Uvalde, it just shows society in general is changing and we want to be responsive to that,” Hill said.

Once Zeroeyes detects a gun within the hospital, it sends a signal to the Zeroeyes security team. From there, real humans will verify the threat to prevent a false alarm.

“I like the fact that there’s human interaction with the AI that can override the AI,” Hill said.

If there is a verified threat, the local dispatch center and hospital staff will be alerted to respond.

“The system also allows us to track people as they move, so, if they’re not in the exact location where the signal came on, we will be able to follow that person as they move around our campus,” Hill stated.

A hot topic among lawmakers is to regulate AI, which could pose a risk to this new security feature, but Hill said he is not concerned.

“I’m not concerned about it,” Hill said. “This type of AI is used for good reasons, right? So, I don’t see that it would be that impacted.”

The point of Zeroeyes is to detect the gun, assess the threat and respond quickly, before shots are ever fired.

“That is our full intent, is just how can we improve the safety of this environment and this culture at UMC,” Hill said.

Hill stated when Zeroeyes is implemented into UMC’s security cameras in August, his team will be even more trained and informed to respond appropriately and Zeroeyes will serve to prevent a mass shooter situation, ultimately saving lives.