As, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the future of technology and is gradually revamp. Confer to that, the elderly man inside the doorway of the residential building, tucked in a tiny corner with his cup of tea, crumpled newspaper and transistor radio, is a common sight for residents in Hong Kong’s many high-rise flats.
Usually in his 60s or 70s, he is sometimes the doorman, sometimes gives directions, almost always gruff, and is generally tasked with ensuring security for the building. He is also an endangered species.
“Young people won’t want to sit there reading a newspaper all day, or even play with their smartphone, they’ll be bored to death,” said Paul Chong, chief executive of Certis Group, the Singapore-based security company that started off as a division within the country’s police force.
With high-definition video surveillance cameras, facial recognition and remote sensors feeding tonnes of data into artificial intelligence algorithms to analyse in real time, technology has advanced to the point where the “old uncle” is no longer needed, according to Chong.
Like other sectors buffeted by the winds of technological change, the concept of physical security is also being redefined by the new tools being used to ensure safety and deter crime.
Started in 1958 as the Guard and Escort Unit of the Singapore Police Force, Certis later became a statutory board in the island state’s private armed security industry, before incorporating in June 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. The outfit recorded revenue of S$1.2 billion (US$887 million) in its 2018 financial year, crossing the billion-dollar mark for the first time.