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Incheon Airport to add AI to security systems

Feb 21,2019
Never mind airport security, artificial intelligence (AI) may also be rooting through your luggage in the near future at Incheon International Airport.

Incheon International Airport Corporation said Wednesday it will incorporate AI into its security systems in a bid to improve accuracy in screening passenger luggage for prohibited items.

The airport has already started working on the project to develop an AI-based X-ray screening system to be tested in the second half of next year.

Instead of the existing system that relies on X-ray scanning, manual image checking by security officers and a final physical check, artificial intelligence will crosscheck the X-ray scan and the analysis will be available to officers along with the X-ray image.

The first-stage AI scan is expected to complement and improve the accuracy of the security check as an officer will continue to be responsible for the final call to physically inspect luggage.

The airport said it will apply deep-learning technology on over 600,000 pieces of footage of around 20 prohibited items and 20,000 commercially sold liquid products to develop an algorithm for imagery interpretation and improve the AI’s screening accuracy.

The development project is expected to take two years overall, with a proof-of-concept system to take 10 months to develop.

“By preemptively incorporating AI technology into security, [we] will strengthen airline security and plan to provide a safer and more convenient environment for passengers,” said Chung Il-young, CEO of Incheon International Airport Corporation.

This will be the country’s first large-scale practical application of the technology, according to the airport.

It is part of broader efforts to introduce a “Smart Security System” with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The airport is also planning to introduce a tunnel security search system, the first of its kind, which will allow passengers to simply go through security checks by walking through a tunnel.

The airport screened around 60 million pieces of luggage last year through the conventional X-ray system and found 3 million prohibited items such as firearms and swords.


BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]