Survey: Majority of Organizations Don’t Care if Surveillance AI Is Biased

In a survey conducted by Pro-Vigil, 62% of respondents said they either don’t care or aren’t sure if they care if their AI is biased.

SAN ANTONIO — Pro-Vigil, a provider of remote video monitoring and crime deterrence solutions, has published a research report that found organizations are more concerned about their artificial intelligence (AI)-powered video surveillance system’s ability to deter crime than any potential bias issues.

Pro-Vigil surveyed 100 users of digital video surveillance across a variety of commercial vertical markets to gain an understanding of people’s knowledge of AI and how it’s being used in their video surveillance systems, as well as their opinions around AI bias.

The company found:

  • 62% of respondents said they either don’t care or aren’t sure if they care if their AI is biased.
  • When asked if they would do anything if their AI video system was doing a good job deterring crime, but was using unethical algorithms, more than one-third (37%) of respondents said they would do nothing.
  • Most survey respondents understood whether or not their video surveillance systems were using AI. Most (64%) indicated they weren’t using AI, while 21% said they were using AI. The rest were unsure.
  • 26% indicated there is a person in their organization who is responsible for understanding how AI is used. The rest either didn’t know or said there was no such person.
  • Nearly 90% said they would not know how to check to see if their AI video surveillance system was biased.

One specific area that has been been called out recently is facial recognition, which has increasingly come under fire over the past few years as the use of the technology has grown. A 2019 study found that Amazon’s facial-detection technology, Amazon Rekognition, was misidentifying women, especially those with darker skin. Overall, the technology was found to be racially bias.

This type of misidentification has led to major cities and states around the country banning the technology. Lawmakers have even introduced legislation to ban the federal government from utilizing facial recognition and similar technologies.

While AI and facial recognition have their benefits, as SIA likes to attest, Pro-Vigil’s survey reveals that users require more education on the technology. You can view the full research report here.

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About the Author


Steven A. Karantzoulidis is the Web Editor for Security Sales & Integration. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication and has a background in Film, A/V and Social Media.

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