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Cisco collaborates with startup for AI health and safety trial

Cisco is to work with artificial intelligence startup Cortexica in an Innovate UK-funded project to improve physical safety in the workplace

Artificial intelligence (AI) will in future be used to help reduce human error in physical safety in workplaces such as laboratories, operating theatres or building sites, pending the results of a UK government-funded trial of AI and video networking technology.

Dubbed AI-Safe (Autonomous Intelligent System for Assuring Safe Working Environments), the Innovate UK-backed programme will see British AI startup Cortexica Vision Systems work with Cisco to match personal protection equipment (PPE) against client inventories, using advanced machine learning and AI technology and Cisco’s real-time video analysis capabilities.

“In any environment with increased risk, safety becomes paramount – whether physical or virtual,” said Cisco UK and Ireland innovation head Nick Chrissos. “The application of digital technologies and applied artificial intelligence has the potential to impact the welfare and productivity of workers across many industries, whether in laboratories, construction or for critical infrastructure providers.”

The technology will be mounted above workplace entrances and exits, replacing error-prone manual spot-checks.

The combination of real-time video analysis and machine learning algorithms will then match an employee’s equipment, such as headgear, eyewear and footwear, against the inventory, and people flagged as non-compliant will have their access to the relevant work environment restricted or denied altogether.

“We are excited to be partnering with Cisco in an exemplary showcase of open innovation being supported by the UK government,” said Cortexica senior business development director SP Johnston. “AI Safe brings together an IT powerhouse with a pioneering disruptor to provide a targeted solution to solve real-world problems.”

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Established in July 2008, London-based Cortexica – which started under the auspices of Imperial College London’s technology commercialisation venture – specialises in applying AI techniques to computer vision and video analysis.

Its findSimilar technology has found a number of customers in the retail sector, including John Lewis, Macy’s and Net-A-Porter. ............................................................................................................... ..........................................................................................................................................

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