NVIDIA Unveils “Metropolis” – an AI for Surveillance Cameras

NVIDIA, the company that invented the GPU which is now at the core of many AI and deep learning applications – launched this week its new product called “Metropolis.” According to the company, Metropolis enables customers to put AI behind every surveillance camera.

There are currently hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras worldwide, this according to NVIDIA. The company projected that by 2020, the number of surveillance cameras will rise to approximately 1 billion. Only a fraction of the world’s surveillance footages is monitored by humans, with most of the data stored for future use.

NVIDIA’s Metropolis uses deep learning in cameras, on-premises video recorders and servers, and in the cloud. Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of the Tegra business at NVIDIA, said, “The NVIDIA Metropolis platform enables customers to put AI behind every video stream to create smarter cities.”

Putting Metropolis behind every surveillance camera requires partnership with the makers of security cameras. To date, NVIDIA has partnered with 50 companies that make surveillance cameras, including Hikvision, Avigilon, Dahua, Hanwha Techwin, and Milestone.

“NVIDIA’s end-to-end Metropolis platform can be applied to video streams to create smarter and safer applications for a variety of industries – from transportation to commercial,” said Shiliang Pu, president at Hikvision Research Institute.

In recent years, GPU-powered deep learning fuelled the progress of modern AI, with GPU’s acting as the brain of self-driving cars and robots. Graphic Processing Units, by design, support parallel computing and support matrix and vector operations that are prevalent to deep learning. Andrew Ng, co-founder of Google Brain and VP at Baidu, has stated that using GPUs in deep learning systems speeds up the process by about 100 times.