Future of Work News

AI's Critical Role in Public Safety and Emergency Services


AI and automation are slowly but steadily permeating all aspects of life, from customer service to the travel and hospitality industries. AI is being embedded in devices as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands to encompass a broad range of vertical markets. Of course, AI has not yet replaced humans in the workforce, but it seems to work best when augmenting and assisting the decision-making process.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that AI is now making inroads in the emergency and public safety arenas. It makes a lot of sense – we’ve seen plenty of applications for AI in the contact center, supplying important background and customer history information to human agents to help them serve clients quickly and more efficiently. The same theory can easily be applied to public safety, where AI can provide dispatchers and emergency personnel with potentially life-saving data to help them make decisions quickly and effectively.

For instance, in the case of an automobile accident, in-vehicle sensors are capable of detecting high rates of deceleration, whether airbags have been deployed and whether crush zones on a vehicle have been impacted. Vehicle communication systems can generate a call to a center like OnStar, flagging the incident as an emergency. Emergency dispatchers are able to view vehicle data and location information and can also notify the appropriate public safety organizations. However, all the data gleaned from the vehicle must be communicated verbally to the 911 call center, wasting valuable time and creating the potential for human error.

AI could be used effectively in this type of situation, transmitting vehicle data directly to emergency services personnel and even initiating a three-way audio call among 911 services, OnStar and the vehicle occupants. The data could also be analyzed on the fly by AI to attempt to determine the extent and specific areas of injury, and to pass that information along to emergency dispatchers and on-site personnel. Additional resources like advanced life support, airlifts and more could also be ordered immediately, without waiting for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene.

The NG911initiative further makes the case for the use of AI and other technologies to beef up national emergency communications infrastructure. The initiative advocates for an all-IP, standards-based infrastructure, enabling both voice and multimedia communications among 911 callers, centers and on-site responders. This type of system would also enable callers to transmit photos, videos and other data to help 911 professionals better prepare for any situation. Overall, NG911 would create advanced interoperability and functionality among all participants in a public safety emergency, facilitating faster and more effective responses. And AI could easily be applied to this type of data to assist humans in all steps of the decision-making process.

To learn more about how AI is permeating all spheres of the public and private sector, including emergency and public safety operations, TMC is hosting its Future of Work Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The event, which is happening February 12-14, 2020, will explore how AI and machine learning technologies are being used to transform communications and are rapidly shaping the future workplace and planet.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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