Using Drones and AI For Automated Crowd Surveillance

Artificial intelligence is amazing in all of its guises, whether that’s a DJI drone using computer vision to stop short of a collision or an Intel-powered UAV using machine learning to identify whales. There are plenty of applications combining AI and drones that are changing lives and industries for the better.

However, when developing software, algorithms and machines capable of making decisions and judgements that affect humans, care obviously needs to be taken. This week, research conducted at the University of Cambridge, India’s National Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science has raised ethical questions over the combination of drones, aerial surveillance and AI.

The technology developed allows a drone fly above crowds and use machine learning to detect signs of violence.

In a paper titled “Eye in the Sky,” the researchers describe a Parrot AR quadcopter, which sends live video from above a crowd for real-time analysis. Then, machine

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