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Challenges When Adopting AI to Support Situational Awareness in Emergency Response


Bart van Leeuwen  (Situational Awareness Expert, SATraining EMEA)

Location: W240A

Date: Thursday, March 28

Time: 12:10 pm - 12:40 pm

Track: First Responder Communications, Incident Management

Topic: AI, Situational Awareness

Format: Power Session

Vault Recording: TBD

If we believe that AI can improve situational awareness in emergency response, shouldn’t we first understand how humans gain situational awareness to begin with?

Since the time that data application in emergency response scenarios have become mainstream, they have been advertised as tools to improve situational awareness. It didn’t take long to realize that the growth of information available in these applications was causing problems by itself. Now AI is looked at as a solution to this information overflow problem.

The applications are there to support emergency responders to gain situational awareness, but what is situational awareness, how is it developed in the human brain, and what are the barriers to gain good situational awareness? The neurological process of perceiving, understanding and predicting what will happen in any given situation is what develops situational awareness. Mental models gained by training will help emergency responders to develop proper situational awareness.

There is a huge gap between the technological aspects of implementing AI, and the human factors that come into play when emergency responders need to operate in high-risk, high-consequence time-compressed environments.

This presentation will cover the challenges that lie ahead when we truly want to support emergency responders with AI to improve decision making. Along the way we will talk about a couple of elephants in the room.