Security Personnel and Technology: Who Does What Best?
Is the security force of the future driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and battery powered? How about the security force of the present?
What does technology, especially technology driven by artificial intelligence, do better than humans? What do humans do better than even the most sophisticated computers? Is there a place for both in security?
Replacing human labor with machines isn’t new. The first industrial revolution, late in the 18th century, introduced mechanical production, steam power and railroads. A century later, the advent of electricity ushered in a new era of mass production.
The 20th century has added digital technology to the mix. And that technology is rapidly making inroads in the security industry.
The benefits of technology
Technology can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cameras can cover every inch of a facility or campus, in blazing heat or bitter cold. With AI, those cameras can spot a vehicle driven by a disgruntled former employee returning to do damage (or worse). AI can spot patterns, doors that shouldn’t be open, objects out of place. Sensors can detect floods, sudden temperature changes, and other potential security issues.
For years, companies have been considering replacing or supplementing human security personnel with technology, such as cameras, access-control technology and robots. The business case is compelling:
- No need for benefits, raises or any human resource-related expenses
- Technology is a depreciable asset, which means tax benefits
- Technology theoretically pays for itself in lower personnel costs
As the pandemic has forced us to use technology more than ever, and as technology—particularly AI—has improved, companies are again rethinking how to incorporate technology into their operations.
The benefits of humans
Human security officers have several advantages over AI and other technology:
- Humans can explore, ask questions, and be open to new ideas and ways of working.
- Humans are creative in ways that machines are not.
- Humans are capable of empathy and can understand and connect with other people.
- Humans can build relationships and reach deeper levels of understanding with other humans.
- Humans can influence emotions, inspire action, express empathy, and use persuasion to change outcomes.
A security officer can navigate and manage open-ended scenarios. AI can process and analyze mountains of data. But if external factors change, a machine’s algorithms may no longer work as well. A programmer may have to adjust or modify the machine and define new system rules.
How Sunstates uses technology
Sunstates has long used technology in two ways.
First, our recruitment and screening process, as well as our training systems, ensure a high level of technological proficiency. In addition, we constantly update training and development programs to prepare our work force to meet clients’ evolving needs. In this way, Sunstates upgrades its employee skills to reflect modern requirements.
Second, we use security technology to expand and extend our security officers’ abilities and skills. For any company considering this route, we highly recommend working with a partner that understands how humans and technology can best work together to provide the highest levels of security.
A story of human security success
During recent riots in Wilmington, Del., no technology could have protected the downtown courthouse the way Security Officer Jacqueline Green did.
When protesters pried open the courthouse’s sliding glass doors and began flooding into the empty courthouse, intent on damaging the building, Officer Green met them—not with weapons, but with empathy and understanding. She persuaded them that their destructive anger would gain them nothing. They listened, then left, and the building was saved from major damage.
That’s something no technology can do.
To discuss how Sunstates Security can help you provide the highest possible level of security for your organization, whether that includes trained security officers, technology or both, please call 866-710-2019 or email us