How Deep is Deep Learning?
At the start of every new year,
I get a sampling of what new
technologies are going to be
introduced. Most of the time,
I’m in way over my head.
Sometimes I understand and relate to the solution,
the technology and what it all means.
I met John Carter several years ago. I remember
it was during the winter, because at
the end of the work day the skies were getting
dark and I was trying to find his office in
the North Dallas area. John had a very cool
new technology that he wanted to show me.
First, you should know that he is a rocket scientist
and worked for NASA for a few years.
I’m not a rocket scientist, never worked for
NASA, and had no idea what I was getting
It was rocket science.
I’ve kept in touch with John over the
years, and a few weeks ago I get a call to have
a chat with him on the phone. We talked for
30 minutes and I found I was swimming in
the deep waters of deep learning. I swam fast
enough to ask for another 30 minutes. We
talked again, and I was more prepared.
We’re seeing amazing advancements in
Artificial Intelligence and its ability to design
complex machine learning, also known as artificial
neural networks (ANN). Why is this
important? The day will come when cars will
drive autonomously, when security systems
will be able to spot or identify a terror suspect,
and when applied to physical security,
situational awareness is enhanced by identifying
The more I talk to John, the more I learn.
As humans, we have the senses of seeing,
hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling. That
activity is reported to our brain, allowing us
to make decisions on how to proceed from
one activity to another. ANN works similarly,
but makes decisions based on logic and
with constant evaluation.
When I asked for another 30 minutes of
John’s time, I had you, the reader, in mind
and asked him to share his thoughts on what
I felt was a game changer. I invited John to
write our cover story in this issue of Security
Today, because I know he understands how
leveraging AI will recognize certain conditions
that increase a threat to a facility, and
to the people inside. I’m thinking security on
a K-12 campus and the valuable assets, otherwise
known as students.
I believe you will enjoy his story, because
it is a game changer.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Security Today.