AI-Powered Weapon Scanner Fails to Detect Knives in New York School District Spend of Over $3.9 Million


The world of AI has stirred up both immense fear and excitement as users ponder its future capabilities. This has been put into perspective after a recent incident in New York’s Utica school district, which spent close to $4 million on AI-powered weapons scanner from Evolv Technology that was meant to create a weapons-free zone. On Halloween of this year, a student managed to get through the scanner undetected carrying a nine-inch knife and stabbed a fellow student. Only when a teacher broke up the altercation was the victim taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

An investigation into the incident showed that Evolv Technologies’ system supposedly able to detect guns, knives, and explosive devices, missed 38 percent of large knives during 24 walk-throughs. Though the company claims their system can scan for weapons 10 times faster than traditional metal detectors, its efficiency is certainly up for debate. Anil Chitkara, one of the co-founders of Evolv Technology, stated in an interview that their ‘AI algorithm is trained on thousands and thousands of different items, different weapons, different guns and also, different personal items, phones, keys, and other things.’ The algorithm allegedly collects photos and draws red boxes over suspicious objects, though this system was not effective in detecting the nine-inch knife.

Evolv Technology is a US-based company focused on providing revolutionary high-tech security solutions. With the goal of helping create a safer world, Evolv Technology offers a wide array of AI-enhanced products meant to detect weapons, explosives, and other threats in less than a second. The most notable of which is the Evolv Edge weapon detection system, an advanced and automated system that uses AI to detect weapons anywhere and everywhere they might be found.

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Anil Chitkara is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Evolv Technology. With more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Chitkara is a passionate leader with a knack for bringing innovative ideas and products to the security industry. He is incredibly passionate about the potential of AI technology for managing threats and is constantly looking for ways to improve upon the existing systems. Chitkara has also served in the Indian Navy and been an advocate for a tech-based approach to ensuring public safety.

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