Ann Arbor YMCA First in Nation to Use AI for Aquatics Safety

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A YMCA in Ann Arbor, Mich., is the first in the country to use artificial intelligence in the monitoring of its aquatics center. 

The new technology at Ann Arbor YMCA is integrated to prevent drownings, assist in water safety and improve rescue response times. 

Officials at the YMCA told A4 the technology, which is developed by Lynxight, is a proactive effort to improve safety. 

“We have integrated advanced AI with existing CCTV camera technology to deliver the next level of pool safety to swimming pools everywhere,” CEO of Lynxight Omer Bar-Ilan said in a statement. “The existing cameras are instantly elevated in their capabilities to see above and below the water to attain complete scene understanding.”

The technology uses the facility's CCTV cameras to detect and analyze swimmers in the pools. Machine learning can determine whether swimmers are in high-risk areas, in distress or have entered the pool by accident. Lifeguards are then alerted by smartwatch which location to respond to. 

“We’re extremely excited to bring this technology to our downtown Ann Arbor Y membership branch,” vice president of membership and marketing James Highsmith said in a release. “The tool is not meant to be, and never will be a replacement for human lifeguards, but the technology is a proactive effort by our organization to improve upon the aquatic experience at the Y. The Y has a commitment to continue to work towards making our water activities as safe as possible.

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