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DHS Awards $200k for AI-Based Proof of Concept for TSA

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $199,961.29 to Austin, Texas–based start-up Synthetik Applied Technologies, to develop a proof-of-concept for an artificial intelligence (AI)-based object recognition capability for the Transportation Security Administration.

“Synthetik’s solution proposes an advancement to three-dimensional (3D) object recognition that could greatly enhance security checkpoint operations,” said Melissa Oh, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Managing Director. “We are excited to see Synthetik’s proof-of-concept—artificial intelligence has many applications to DHS use-cases that we have not yet fully explored.”

Synthetik received its award for a proposed capability using real-time voxel-wise instance segmentation to detect objects during property screening in airports. A voxel is a unit of measurement in a 3D image—a 3D pixel—and object segmentation is the problem of delineating each object of interest in an image. Voxel-wise instance segmentation uses AI to identify objects within a 3D image. Though most commonly used in medical imaging, Synthetik’s solution proposes to develop and train an AI model with the potential to automatically detect multiple objects at the same time during the property screening process at an airport, enhancing current human-based capabilities.

This is the first award under the SVIP’s Other Transaction Solicitation Object Recognition and Adaptive Algorithms for Aiport Passenger Property Screening – 70RSAT1800000024.

Read more at DHS S&T

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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