Artificial intelligence takes control of school safety at PPS
PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) — There will be a new eye in the sky this year at Peoria Public Schools.
On Tuesday evening, the school board approved a new system intended to protect students, without being noticed. It’s called “Intellisee”, an artificial intelligence that learns over time with the aim of protecting children throughout their school day. 64 cameras already installed in the neighborhood will use Intellisee, which the council calls a “risk mitigation tool”. Board members say the data will both be analyzed in real time to identify objects and people, as well as record footage for future playback. It then alerts the appropriate personnel to deal with any problem it detects. If it is a puddle, a guardian will receive a message to clean it up. If it is an active shooter, the local police will be alerted.
“It’s just about adapting to the current climate of what a school day might look like in 2022,” says council vice-chairman Mike Murphy.
But new technology does not come without worries.
“I think in the early trials, I think there will be learning curves for this,” Murphy says.
None of this data or video will also leave the PPS or Peoria Police servers, which means that no third parties will have access to student footage other than administrators or officers.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the fatal shooting in Uvalde, Texas was repeatedly brought up, something district leaders don’t want to happen here.
“We want to make sure it’s safe, and we’re going to do our job as a district to keep the school safe,” says Peoria Public Schools Board member Gregory Wilson. “It’s a number one priority, the safety of our students, staff, teachers and administrators.”
Money for the system will come from the state’s Title IV funds, with grants focused on student support and academic enrichment.
Deployment is scheduled for the fall. But officials won’t say where for security reasons. The council agreed to a one-year contract with intellisee for the system.
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