Amidst several emerging challenges including crime and terror threats, experts have called for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in managing security of the country.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting in Kampala, the experts argued that with the ever-changing face of crime, it is high time Uganda turned to use of new technology.
“For example, Artificial Intelligence can be used in cyber security to quickly analyze millions of events and identify many different types of threats. AI helps to develop a holistic and robust model, efficient at detecting and preventing cyber-attacks in real-time, resisting novel cybercrime and increasing the competence of cyber security teams,” said Demus Nahurira, a solution engineer at Dahua Technology, a company that deals in video surveillance equipment and advanced security technology.
The UK government recently issued an alert in which they said terrorists are planning to attack Uganda, a move that has thrown Ugandans in panic.
However, according to experts, in such moments, use of AI comes in handy.
“The concept of smart buildings and smart homes comes in here. You can have face recognition equipment at the entrance of buildings that they identify all people accessing the building that in case of any incident, the image is put in the system to analyse it. You can as well blacklist individuals and vehicles from accessing certain facilities,” Nahurira says.
“The use of alarms can be of great use to security management which can be synchronized in the system that you can track the building or home from wherever you may be. The traditional systems use infra-red that if it is raining or windy, you get a false alarm and any movement causes an alarm. Here, Dahua comes in an provides AI which filters and focuses on vehicles and people. In case any of these come near the system, the alarm goes off.”
According to Isaac Rukanda,the director at Detail Protection Services, AI can also come in handy to manage large crowds that would ordinarily require security personnel to deployed in large numbers.
“You can deploy surveillance equipment for all people attending the public events to detect any unwanted items. We have long range thermal imaging and AI cameras that can detect people with ulterior motives. For example, these AI cameras can detect IEDs or their components and early detection helps avert threats. This requires security agencies like police working with private security companies in providing these services. We can work hand in hand with each other,” Rukanda says.
The experts insisted that it should not be business as usual to wait for incidents to happen and government carries out postmortem but rather be proactive by using technology to avert crime.
“As time moves, security threats evolve and therefore we need advanced security systems that are reliable to deter the threats rather than wait for them to happen and we do postmortem. These systems are available and we can provide these services.”
Superintendent of Police, Bruno Tumwesigye, an ICT expert from the Uganda Police Force couldn’t agree more on use of Artificial Intelligence and modern technology in deterring crime.
“With sophistication of crime, we can no longer ignore the role of Artificial Intelligence. We are soon rolling out Artificial Intelligence CCTV cameras to help in fighting crime basing on the success of the cameras since their installation. We have been able to apprehend criminals using CCTV cameras,” SP Tumwesigye said.
“Between January and now(July), police has been able to solve 5084 cases and among them were mostly those involving cars stolen. All these have been solved by the use of CCTV cameras. This wasn’t the case before the installation of CCTV cameras. For example now if you report a case of car theft, they alert the 999 system, alert the CCTV command centre, the car is blacklisted and the moment it moves anywhere, the first camera to capture it will alert the command centre and teams dispatched to follow it.”
The senior police officer however noted that security is not a preserve of government but rather everyone must be involved.