Artificial intelligence cameras on test in Cannes ahead of Olympics

The Cannes Film Festival will use a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence security system.

This will test whether the technology can be applied at the Olympic Games in Paris two months later, AFP reports.

Some 40,000 visitors - and some of the world's biggest movie stars - are arriving on the Côte d'Azur for the festival from May 14-25.

Local authorities will use 17 experimental cameras equipped with artificial intelligence technology that are supposed to "identify events or behaviour deemed suspicious" and help detect abandoned packages, weapons and people in distress.

According to Mayor David Lesnar, Cannes City Hall had asked to deploy them as early as 2019, but only received permission thanks to changes to surveillance laws introduced for the Olympics, which kick off in Paris in July.

He said the city now has "the densest video security network in France" with 884 cameras, one for every 84 inhabitants.

In addition, Caen has 462 emergency call buttons located in public places and buildings.

There were fears that mobilization for the Olympics would deprive the festival of police resources. But authorities in Paris said they were sending about 400 security officers in addition to the 200 police and 66 surveillance agents already in Cannes.

The festival has another 400 security guards around the main venue, the Palais des Festivals. The many private security guards who work at all the beach parties, villa parties and yacht parties will also contribute to security. /BGNES