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Pilot program being considered by Gateway uses artificial intelligence | TribLIVE.com
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Pilot program being considered by Gateway uses artificial intelligence

Dillon Carr
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Artificial intelligence could be coming to Gateway School District.

The school board will vote March 19 whether to hire Cognistx, a company that has developed software that can track active shooters and other potential threats through the district’s existing 300-400 security cameras.

Cognistx, a subsidiary of a Carnegie Mellon University business venture in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, would launch a pilot program in the district through the spring and summer in order to have the program fully operational by the new school year.

The technology, owned and developed by CogxVision, is able to notify authorities when a threat is detected, and a mobile app would allow teachers, administrators and police to track the individual’s — or group’s — locations in the building.

“It’s something I’ve always thought about – when we have an intruder and the police show up, they don’t know where they’re going or what they’re looking for. So if they’re able to identify and pinpoint a location, (that) makes things a lot easier,” said Bill Short, Gateway’s superintendent.

Sanjay Chopra, the company’s co-founder, said Gateway is the first school district in the world to utilize artificial intelligence in school safety. The technology has the ability to identify threats like weapons and fights, he said.

“You train the artificial intelligence models to detect these things and once they have a high degree of precision, they report back to the authorities that these activities are happening,” Chopra said.

The software would become the district’s latest addition to its school safety program, which recently included a pilot program for the use of metal detectors in its high school and Gateway Middle School.

The district also employs 12 part-time police officers. There are four officers that work in the high school, and one at each elementary and middle school.

The initial cost of the Cognistx program would be around $65,000, which would include equipment installation and training. It would cost the district $1,200 per month thereafter, said Andrew Moore, a member of Cognistx leadership team.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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