We generally associate surveillance cameras with digital eyes that monitor or are on standby over us, depending on the point of view. However, they are more like portholes: useful only when someone looks through them. This means that a human sometimes watches live footage, usually from multiple video streams. Most surveillance cameras are passive and serve more as a deterrent or to provide visual evidence. Your car was stolen? Check the video surveillance.

On the other hand, technologies are evolving - and rapidly. Artificial intelligence now gives surveillance cameras digital brains with vision, allowing them to analyze live video without human intervention.

We are all familiar with traditional cameras and the fact that they monitor an area until the video is reviewed. Imagine being able to make decisions at the moment of capturing the image and act on it right away. In fact, that's where the technology is. You will find it especially in casinos in all its grandeur, from monitoring dealers, cards, players, to detecting "persona non grata" (unwanted person). Its application is limited by our creativity and imagination. Here is an example:

A customer had built a small dam. In order to comply with environmental regulations, he had to monitor the number of fish that would jump over the structure. At first, there was a person sitting perched on a ladder checking the number of trout jumping over the dam. Shortly thereafter, they switched to remote video surveillance with analysis and counting.  A company designed a customized artificial intelligence (AI) video surveillance system for them to identify and count the types of fish. This solution has been able to contribute to a better understanding of marine life and trout migration while accurately monitoring the number and type of fish, a task that is almost impossible for a human being.

Other applications are also used by companies in the banking and energy sectors. There are even applications that look at pizzas to see if they are the right size and shape.

It could also be good news for public safety, helping police and first responders to more easily identify crimes and accidents in addition to a range of scientific and industrial applications.

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