Education Week Retrospective
On February 14, 2018, a former student entered a Parkland, Fla., high school with an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people and wounding 17 others. A year later, students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continue to search for a sense of normal. Young activists from Parkland have launched a national movement, and policymakers around the country continue to scrutinize the details of the attack, searching for ways to make schools safer. Education Week asked those involved in conversations about safety, guns, and youth engagement how Parkland has changed the debate.
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At the 19th-floor co-working space in Philly, ZeroEyes is raising money and aiming to partner with the Philadelphia School District. Started by a group of former SEALs, Zero Eyes is developing an artificial-intelligence product aimed at alerting first responders in school shootings.
“ZeroEyes is an intelligent video analytics company. Powered by AI, our technology can detect weapons and recognize faces in real time,” said Rob Huberty, ZeroEyes’ executive vice president for schools. “Once weapons or persons of interest are in view of camera, our platform sends alerts that lock doors and provides first responders the description and location of threat.”
Why set up at WeWork? The space was free — at least for a period of the residency.
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Bunker Labs: Tell us a little about your background.
Mike Lahiff: I grew up in the Philly area, graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School in ’99, then I went to Slippery Rock University. I’d always been fascinated with the military since a young age, particularly with the Navy SEALs. After 9/11 happened, I joined the Navy and made my goal to become a SEAL. I was in the Navy for ten and a half years, deployed in multiple places and spent a lot of time overseas.
After ten years, I decided to retire from the Navy because I had a family at home that I didn’t get to see very much. I was interested in studying business, so I applied to Wharton at Penn and was fortunate enough to get accepted. I worked at Comcast as the Director of Digital Program Management before joining ZeroEyes.
BL: What is ZeroEyes, and what do they do?
ML: The company was founded two years ago by Al Shore, also a Navy veteran. Al came up with this idea to use artificial intelligence to connect pieces of data to process images and videos.
The company was still in ideation stage when I was brought onboard in the spring of 2018. A friend of mine from SEAL training who was working with ZeroEyes called me and told me to check out the company. I saw a lot of potential for the software to be trained to recognize weaponry, to be used in schools and public places as another layer of security.
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