MichMash: Legislature approves use of AI gun protection software at State Capitol

The AI technology, called ZeroEyes, detects guns and other threats through surveillance cameras.

Michigan State Capitol building.

Michigan State Capitol building.

The Michigan legislature is adding AI technology to the State Capitol to prevent any potential threats inside the capitol building. The Detroit News’ Beth LeBlanc sat down with MichMash host Cheyna Roth to discuss the implications of the new technology. 

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In this episode:

  • The State Capitol is set to use new artificial intelligence technology to analyze surveillance video for firearms and alert authorities about potential threats
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer signing new laws about guns and people who committed domestic violence abuses
  • The future of gun laws in Michigan

The AI technology, called ZeroEyes, detects guns and other threats through surveillance cameras installed both inside and outside the capitol building. If a gun is detected, an alert is sent to security officers. The new technology is now live, LeBlanc said.

“It analyzes footage from the capitol grounds from inside the capitol and it detects whether there is evidence of a firearm or gun somewhere,” LeBlanc said. The footage is then sent to a control room, that the AI company runs, and they alert the capitol about any threats to safety.  

There has been a debate about capitol security for the past couple of years in the wake of pandemic protests on capitol grounds that nearly spilt over into the building.  

“We saw people armed with firearms trying to get access to the House floor. So since then there has been a push to limit firearm access or firearm possession in the capitol,” LeBlanc said. “Obviously Jan. 6, 2021 kind of pushed that issue further and caused some real change there.”

The changes have been incremental as the capitol tries to increase safety measures but continue to acknowledge the second amendment. 

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.