Students at The University of Texas at Dallas are using artificial intelligence to stop mass shootings before they start.
"It’s something that we haven’t had before," said Ashlesha Nesarikar, a UT Dallas computer science major.
The early-warning system the 19-year-old and her team developed is called iNotify -- it instantly analyzes security camera video to identify weapons and real threats.
"We can add this extra level of context to, in real time, recognize whether someone is wielding a weapon and posing a threat to people in the community," Nesarikar said.
The founder of Plano Intelligence, Inc., Nesarikar got the idea for iNotify when an attacker stabbed four students at UT Austin last May, killing one of them.
"The call to 911 didn’t happen until about five minutes after the start of the attack, so you had five minutes where people were being hurt and no one could help essentially," said Nesarikar.
iNotify could be employed on school campuses and other public places to instantly alert police about real threats.
"It, in real time, recognizes these weapons and then can actually determine the meaning of what’s going on rather than just saying, you know, this is what I think it is and then send out, based on that, still in real time, a notification to law enforcement, emergency responders and anyone who may be in harm’s way as a result of the weapon being detected," Nesarikar said.
A smartphone app to receive alerts is still under development, but Nesarikar expects everything to be working by the end of this year.
"At the end of the day, we are using this new technology to save lives and reduce loss of lives and injuries," said Nesarikar. "That feels good, that’s the entire reason why I want to do this, you know."
Nesarikar has already heard from several entities interested in using iNotify.