ADT Invests in AI Security Technology Startup Percepta Labs

Percepta Lab’s AI technology is said to track individuals’ movements, scanning for probable shoplifting or precursory shoplifting behavior.

BOCA RATON, Fla. — ADT (NYSE: ADT) announces an investment in Percepta Labs, an artificial intelligence (AI) technology startup based in Philadelphia, through its commercial integration business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ADT Commercial will fund the commercialization and application of the startup’s AI technology to help detect and deter shoplifting. The commercial business unit will work directly with Percepta Labs to further test and develop the application of Percepta Lab’s proprietary, socially responsible AI technology in commercial environments and facilitate the launch when the solution is market-ready, according to the announcement.

The startup was founded by Philippe Sawaya, Neil Gramopadhye and Jonathan Mak while pursuing their undergraduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. The company’s proprietary “ethical AI” technology is said to respond to emerging concerns surrounding the use of facial recognition technologies and is designed to anonymize individuals’ demographic features — including race, gender and age — by analyzing existing security camera feeds to detect shoplifting incidents in real-time.

Using advanced action recognition techniques, Percepta Lab’s AI technology tracks individuals’ movements, scanning for probable shoplifting or precursory shoplifting behavior and assesses theft probability, according to the announcement.

“We’re so proud to place our support in forward-thinking organizations like Percepta, who are aiming to truly revolutionize the industry,” says Dan Bresingham, executive vice president for ADT. “We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of change in our industry. We believe Percepta could signal a tidal shift in how we approach AI, facial recognition, and data collection, and we look forward to seeing how their technology continues to develop.”

The startup claims its technology “shows tremendous promise when it comes to loss prevention accuracy.” Early tests by Percepta Labs indicate the technology could be more than two times more accurate than human loss prevention personnel in detecting shoplifting behaviors, translating into improved margins, decreased shrink, and a better experience for customers, while eliminating biases based on race, gender and age, according to the announcement.

“AI’s presence in our lives has skyrocketed, yet it poses ethical concerns that have not been sufficiently addressed. We’ve made these concerns a key priority and are proud to have developed an ethical AI technology that counteracts these biases in the world of retail and beyond,” states Sawaya, CEO of Percepta. “We look forward to seeing how ADT Commercial’s vast experience and commercial network will accelerate Percepta’s growth. We’re excited to partner with them in our shared mission to support socially responsible AI security solutions.”

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