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No guards in the future? That’s scary to me.

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You reach the entrance to your condo and the gate opens automatically. No one at the guard post smiles to you. You drive into the car park, got down from your car and walks to the lobby where the elevator is. The occasional chanced meeting with the guard on his motorcycle patrolling the compound and car park is no more. You reach the lobby and the door unlocks and opens automatically and you saw the desk where the guard usually sits, empty. No one greets you. You enter the elevator, goes home, got changed and went to the swimming pool for a swim. By the pool, the desk where the guard sits, is empty. You use your smartphone to scan to register on a RFID machine on the desk for the access to the pool. Welcome to the future? Looks scary and very unfriendly to me. Sorry, I am a traditional guy. To me, guards are humans and they are friends, period. Anyway, read on for a glimpse into the potential future.

Article in edgeprop.my here. The South China Morning Post reports that for Paul Chong, the chief executive of Certis Group, a Singaporean security company, high-definition video surveillance cameras, facial recognition and remote sensors feeding data into artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse in real time, mean that the “old uncle” security guard is no longer needed. For example, artificial intelligence could detect when a person is acting in a way that is not within the norm, and flag the ‘exceptions’ to be monitored by the central command centre, for human operators to discern if there is a security concern. The article also shared that human patrols will be a thing of the past, with ground sensors taking over instead. Chong said that with regards to privacy concern, people have a certain level of trust with the gathered information which is used to protect people. He said, “So long as people see that their information is not abused, they’d trade it for security, they’d trade it for convenience, they’d trade it for a lot of other things.” Article in edgeprop.my here.

So, in the future, there’s no longer any need for too many guards except for a centralised command centre somewhere very nearby. The security guards could reach our home within minutes if something goes wrong. Somehow, this is not the future I am looking forward to. I love technology and I think A.I. is playing an important part in our lives. However, there’s a limit to security being taken over by automation versus a friendly human. (regardless of nationality) Oh yeah, the system is controlled by humans too, right? I conclude that for me (only me), I prefer the greetings with a smile at the entrance, the occasional chanced meeting with guards on patrol, saying Hi to the security guard who sits by the pool (even if he is not the best swimmer). I am human, after all. Happy understanding.

written on 21 March 2019

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

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