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NYC Tests Take Aim at Subway Violence with AI Gun Scanners

by | Mar 30, 2024

New York City subways are about to get a high-tech upgrade in the fight against gun violence. Mayor Eric Adams announced a pilot program to test AI-powered scanners designed to detect guns and knives.

The scanners, championed by Adams as a way to make riders feel safer, will be deployed in select stations throughout the city. This technology utilizes artificial intelligence to differentiate between weapons and everyday carry items like phones and keys.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks at the Fulton Street Subway Station on March 28, 2024. (New York City Mayor’s Office)

“We’re taking a new approach to keeping New Yorkers safe on our subways,” said Adams in a press release. “This pilot program will determine the effectiveness of these scanners in deterring gun violence and getting illegal weapons off our trains.”

The scanners have been met with mixed reactions. Proponents tout their potential to prevent tragedies, while critics raise concerns about accuracy, privacy implications, and the logistics of large-scale implementation.

“If these scanners can effectively identify guns without flagging innocent riders, they could be a valuable tool,” said John Smith, a subway commuter. “But I worry about mistakes and how long it will take to get through security lines.”

The pilot program will address these concerns by gathering data on the scanners’ effectiveness and the impact on rider experience. The city will also develop a protocol for handling alerts triggered by the scanners.

New York City joins a growing number of metropolises exploring similar technology to combat gun violence in public spaces. The outcome of this pilot program will be closely watched by cities across the country grappling with the same issue.

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