ADT Invests in Percepta Labs, “Ethical AI” Security Technology Startup
One of the leading providers of commercial security commits to invest more than $1M in technology focused on anonymizing race, gender, and age in facial recognition data
ADT Inc. announced that, via its commercial channel (“ADT Commercial”), it is investing in Percepta Labs, an artificial-intelligence technology startup out of Philadelphia. ADT Commercial is a premier provider of commercial security, fire, life safety, and risk consulting services in the U.S., and through its investment will fund the commercialization and application of the startup’s cutting-edge AI technology to help detect and deter shoplifting. ADT Commercial will work directly with Percepta to further test and develop the application of Percepta’s proprietary, socially responsible AI technology in commercial environments and facilitate the launch when the solution is market-ready.
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Founded by Philippe Sawaya, Neil Gramopadhye, and Jonathan Mak while pursuing their undergraduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, Percepta’s proprietary “ethical AI” technology responds to emerging concerns surrounding the use of facial recognition technologies and is designed to anonymize individuals’ demographic features—including race, gender, and age—by analyzing existing security camera feeds to detect shoplifting incidents in real-time. Using advanced action recognition techniques, Percepta’s AI technology tracks individuals’ movements, scanning for probable shoplifting or precursory shoplifting behavior and assesses theft probability.
“We’re so proud to place our support in forward-thinking organizations like Percepta, who are aiming to truly revolutionize the industry,” said Dan Bresingham, Executive Vice President for ADT. “We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of change in our industry. We believe Percepta could signal a tidal shift in how we approach AI, facial recognition, and data collection, and we look forward to seeing how their technology continues to develop.”
In addition to taking a socially responsible approach to AI, Percepta’s technology shows tremendous promise when it comes to loss prevention accuracy. Early tests by Percepta indicate the technology could be more than two times more accurate than human loss prevention personnel in detecting shoplifting behaviors, translating into improved margins, decreased shrink, and a better experience for customers, while eliminating biases based on race, gender, and age.
“AI’s presence in our lives has skyrocketed, yet it poses ethical concerns that have not been sufficiently addressed. We’ve made these concerns a key priority and are proud to have developed an ethical AI technology that counteracts these biases in the world of retail and beyond,” said Sawaya, CEO of Percepta. “We look forward to seeing how ADT Commercial’s vast experience and commercial network will accelerate Percepta’s growth. We’re excited to partner with them in our shared mission to support socially responsible AI security solutions.”
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