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Genetec president addresses future of AI in virtual keynote

"Keep the human in the loop," advised Genetec leader Pierre Racz during Genetec Connect'DX


April 29, 2020
By Alanna Fairey

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a plethora of show organizers to shut down or postpone tradeshows. Taking advantage of the digital space, Montreal-based Genetec introduced Genetec Connect’DX, the company’s first virtual tradeshow.

“Our team looks forward to bringing Genetec solutions directly to the customer and we are happy to do so in a new way this April. Though we love connecting in person, we’re excited by the opportunity to bring everyone together online,” said Andrew Elvish, vice-president of marketing at Genetec, in a prepared statement prior to the virtual show. “We’re ready to showcase our portfolio of physical security solutions, discuss key trends and technologies that effect our industry and provide a preview of what is to come from our product teams.”

Taking place on April 20-22, a number of Genetec professionals hosted keynote sessions, live panels and industry Q&As, in an effort to connect physical security professionals from around the world directly to Genetec experts and industry leaders.

In a keynote address titled “AI: Genetec President takes a pragmatic view,” Genetec president Pierre Racz took a look at the state of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and its real impact on everyday lives.

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Racz also addressed some of the challenges that Genetec has faced in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One is the biggest challenges was for our security Operating System Center to reestablish as the baseline of usage, as we’ve seen a lot of COVID phishing,” Racz said in his address.

“We had some interesting power failures and required people to go and reboot some of the computers.”

Racz went on to say that Genetec’s awareness and documentation on how to work remotely needed to be improved, which Racz said Genetec rectified in a speedy manner.

“When we reviewed our response, we initially thought that we had improvised more than we have, but we actually had followed our plans pretty closely,” Racz said.

With the keynote zeroing in on the hype surrounding AI and its accompanying technologies, Racz emphasized that while AI can be a useful tool for end users, there is ultimately no substitute for human intelligence, and advised users not to become reliant on AI technology.

“In fact, humans are going to have to exercise judgment and oversight over the training data set,” Racz said. “Humans must make sure that the AI is making the right decisions and not solving the wrong problems or copying bias.”

Added Racz, “AI is probability based and doesn’t do well with improbable things.”

To conclude his presentation, Racz advised attendees not to solely rely on what the initial offerings of  AI technology can achieve, and to use common sense.

“Humans must make sure that the AI is making the right decisions and not solving the wrong problems or copying bias,” Racz said. “Keep the human in the loop and the human can provide intuition and creativity while the machine does the heavy lifting.”


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