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Spotlight: Veritone, Inc. the leading provider of artificial intelligence technology and solutions

Veritone is a trusted partner for hundreds of public safety and law enforcement agencies across the United States

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Company name: Veritone, Inc.
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado
Signature Product: Veritone aiWARE

1. Where did your company name originate from?
Signal analysis was classically used in the military with analysts and code-breakers. But this type of signal was generally unstructured data. Today the signal (unstructured data) is the largest data set, with more than 90% of data being created in the past few years. Veri is truth or understanding. When it came time to name the company, we felt that signal (or tone) applied to many forms of unstructured data. VeriTone, describes the truth and understanding of the signal or unstructured data. Today, we leverage and invoke VeriI to mean transparency, without bias.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Veritone was started by brothers Chad and Ryan Steelberg in 2014 driven by the belief that Artificial Intelligence is mankind’s greatest invention. It is the key to building a safer, more vibrant, transparent and empowered society. Veritone is determined to be an active contributor to shaping our future for the better. Veritone cares about the ethical implications of AI and the prosperity and well-being of all individuals, as well as the growth and continued successes of our employees, customers and partners.

Veritone’s mission today is more important than ever. Veritone is here to democratize AI and enable every organization and every person with the power of AI. What started in 2014 with the idea of providing unified access to hundreds of cognitive engines through one common software infrastructure, evolved to the world’s first AI operating system, aiWARE, which orchestrates a diverse ecosystem of cognitive engines to power intelligent automation for both commercial and government organizations. As we progress, we will continue to move humans from “in” to “on” to “out of the loop” to help them accelerate workflows, save time and costs, and uncover new insights and opportunities.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Veritone is a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and solutions. The company’s proprietary operating system, aiWARE, powers a diverse set of AI applications and intelligent process automation solutions that are transforming both commercial and government organizations. aiWARE orchestrates an expanding ecosystem of machine learning models to transform audio, video, and other data sources into actionable intelligence.

Veritone is a trusted partner for hundreds of public safety and law enforcement agencies across the United States. From the US Departments of Justice and Defense to state level agencies and local law enforcement, Veritone applications help agencies accelerate suspect identification, redact sensitive or personally identifiable information from evidence, transcribe and translate jailroom interviews and much more. All applications are built upon Veritone aiWARE, the world’s first operating system for artificial intelligence.

Veritone Redact

Veritone Redact is Veritone’s AI-powered redaction solution. The high cost and resource commitment of redacting sensitive information from media evidence is taking its toll on public safety agencies. Yet doing so is required to keep witnesses safe and comply with freedom of information laws, consent decrees and other legal obligations.

Veritone Redact is a turnkey AI solution that systematically detects human heads and allows users to define other sensitive imagery and objects within a scene, then automatically redacts this information from audio, video, and image-based evidence. What’s more, audio-based conversations can be searched by keyword or phrase and redacted as well. From there, the redacted evidence can quickly be downloaded with logs to support chain of custody requirements for sharing with colleagues.

Developed for public safety and justice agencies, cloud-based Veritone Redact automates the process of obscuring sensitive imagery or audio in media evidence, significantly improving manual and time-intensive, frame-by-frame and word-by-word evidence redaction workflows.

Developed with a proprietary neural network-based model trained to recognize human heads within a scene, Veritone Redact, does not employ any facial recognition technology, nor a means to identify personally identifiable attributes such as skin or hair color, race or gender thereby minimizing any perceived bias in evidence collection.

Veritone Redact was developed in collaboration with various US-based law enforcement agencies who needed an effective means to counter the high cost and resource commitment of redacting sensitive information from media evidence. Put simply, this burden is taking its toll on public safety agencies.

Main Features

  • Detect: Automatically detect heads, license plates and laptops (MDTs) within your video and image-based evidence, with results displayed chronologically in a preview pane as well as within the video player itself

  • Define and live track: Select user-defined objects such as ID cards, officer notebooks or other PII for one-click redaction

  • Redact: Redact detected heads, user-defined objects and even spoken words and phrases within video evidence automatically with one-click. Additional redactions can always be performed if additional personally identifiable information (PII) was missed.
  • Search audio: Quickly locate words or phrases spoken by individuals in audio evidence, such as interview room recordings, 911 calls and audio from body cams or in-car video systems via keyword search. All audio redaction is transcript-based providing additional visual support and allowing for highest accuracy.
  • Download: Download your redacted video or audio files and all actions taken as audit logs with a click of a button to your local computer.
  • Tracking and compliance: Capture comprehensive reporting of all actions taken against redacted video or audio evidence to support your compliance with chain of custody requirements.
  • RMS support: Integrated with GovQA records management platform
  • CJIS: Supports agency CJIS compliance obligations

Veritone Redact was designed to make it very easy for non-video editing professionals to quickly identify visual or audio elements within a clip for redaction. As a cloud-based application (hosted in Azure GovCloud, thereby supporting your agency’s CJIS obligations) Veritone Redact does not require any software installation -- just a web browser. To get started, clips are uploaded into the application where Veritone’s proprietary AI models evaluate the scene for heads, MDTs, officer notepads and other sensitive items for redaction consideration. A bounding box will identify all potential items. Next, the operator simply selects the items they wish to redact and the application immediately initiates the process.

For audio redaction, Veritone Redact automatically converts all recorded conversations into a searchable transcript. As such, the operator simply needs to type a word or phrase and all references will be immediately highlighted within the clip. A click of the mouse and those items are also redacted -- audio can be completely removed or “white noise” can be introduced in those selected areas.

Once all clips have been redacted, a copy is downloaded — including a complete audit log for chain of custody requirements.

Veritone IDentify

Veritone IDentify is Veritone’s AI-powered facial recognition solution.

Developed specifically for public safety agencies, Veritone IDentify enables you to rapidly extract actionable insight from photographic and video evidence used in investigations. Facial recognition AI engines comb through customers’ existing known-offender and person-of-interest databases at incredible speed, uncovering potential suspects for further investigation in less time and with fewer resources than alternative, manual practices — thus increasing the speed and efficiency of your investigative workflows.

Despite public perception, even when criminals are caught on camera, police still have their work cut out for them to identify a suspect and connect them to the crime. The vast majority of police agencies still manually sift through masses of arrest records, turning to colleagues for intel and even promoting the case publicly to identify their person of interest.

Many agencies lack the resources and tools to effectively search against their databases of known offenders and previously arrested or booked individuals. These manual processes require significant time and resources and, as a result, many departments are forced to prioritize only serious or high-profile crimes, leaving many cases unsolved.

Veritone’s IDentify empowers law enforcement agencies to substantially increase operational effectiveness by streamlining investigative workflows and identifying suspects faster than ever before.

Main Features

  • Search: Automatically compare perpetrators that appear in video and photographic evidence against your booking database of known offenders and systematically pinpoint.
  • Filter: Further filter down potential matches found in existing arrest records by key identifiers stored in your booking database such as gender, age, height, hair color, eye color, ethnicity.
  • Aggregate: Detect unknown faces and optionally add them to an existing person-of-interest database for future digital evidence comparison.
  • Collaborate: Share suspect lists with intra- and inter-agency colleagues, including the appearance in evidence, along with booking information including photo, name, last known address and more.
  • Consolidate: Consolidate suspect information in a centralized and secure web-based platform including the appearance in evidence, booking photo(s) and data, last known address and more.

Veritone IDentify was designed to make it very easy for investigators to surface potential individuals of interest from known offenders and other booking data sources. As a cloud-based application (hosted in Azure GovCloud, thereby supporting your agency’s CJIS obligations) Veritone IDentify does not require any software installation — just a web browser. To get started, evidence clips are uploaded into the application where Veritone proprietary AI models evaluate the footage for all individuals. A virtual “line up” of all individuals found in the footage is then presented to the operator. Next, the AI model compares the faces in the virtual lineup with those in the agency’s bookings database. Should there be a high prediction match, the image from the bookings database is presented next to the suspect in the evidence, affording the operator the opportunity to review the potential match.

Unlike competitive offerings in the market, Veritone IDentify does not scour the internet for match candidates and instead exclusively limits its corpus of potential matches to those already managed within the agency’s records management system.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
Veritone products lower the barrier to entry and enable law enforcement agencies and other government agencies to realize the power of AI, which can ultimately boost transparency and trust. Both IDentify and Redact arm police departments with the technology to empower transparency in public safety by accelerating the rate that information can be processed and shared with the public.

Developed specifically for public safety agencies, IDentify enables users to rapidly extract actionable insights from video evidence used in investigations. Facial recognition AI engines quickly search through massive datasets at incredible speed, uncovering potential suspects or persons of interest in less time and effort than alternative, manual practices — thus increasing the speed and efficiency of investigative workflows.

Additionally, Redact ensures the privacy of innocent civilians isn’t compromised in the process of identification. Redact automates the process of removing or obscuring sensitive imagery and audio in media evidence, improving existing time-intensive, frame-by-frame evidence redaction workflows by up to 90%. With automated face and head detection, as well as automatic tracking of manually selected sensitive imagery, Veritone Redact tackles massive volumes of audio and video content at incredible speed and efficiency — freeing up valuable resources and meeting privacy and disclosure laws, as well as relevant public information requests, quickly and efficiently.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Recent public distrust of AI has stemmed from issues such as deepfakes, the misuse of facial recognition technology and privacy and security breaches. Veritone’s mission is rooted in democratizing AI and strengthening society through its positive use. As a result, our primary challenge has been earning the trust of both government and legal customers and the general public. To overcome this challenge, we have focused our efforts on providing accurate and reliable information to our users and the public, while also making it our mission to educate all citizens on the benefits of AI and facial recognition technology in improving transparency, not invading privacy.

Veritone solutions are built to benefit society and mitigate false information. We are constantly benchmarking our solutions to provide users with the right information where they can take control and take informed action, while helping reduce reliance on outdated and arduous, labor-intensive processes.

6. What makes your company unique?
Before Veritone, organizationally implementing AI without data scientists and IT resources was notably challenging, and resource-constrained sectors like law enforcement and government often struggled to realize its potential. Veritone’s proprietary operating system for AI, aiWARE sets us apart. aiWARE is the world’s first operating system for AI, and turnkey AI solutions like IDentify and Redact are built upon it. aiWARE provides enterprises and government agencies with an extensible software infrastructure, enabling fast-to-market AI deployments at scale.IDentify and Redact are also unique due to their ease of use. Both are turnkey solutions that require no data expertise to use and can be used anywhere — all you need is a desktop or laptop computer, browser and Internet connection. IDentify and Redact are also able to ingest a wide range of data — including audio and video footage, as well as images of license plates and faces — and work with all commonly-used cameras, video and audio formats.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
It’s great to see how quickly our customers realize results from our solutions. Law enforcement agencies have raved that without Veritone’s suite of AI tools like IDentify and Redact, officers and investigators would spend long hours manually sifting through records and data — leaving more limited time allocated to solving crimes and protecting public safety. Veritone gives customers actionable intelligence within seconds. The much-needed time and money savings mean agencies have more resources dedicated to their most important jobs.

For example, the Oregon Police Department in Ohio was able to cut redaction times by more than two-thirds using Veritone’s solution. Before, the police department spent hundreds of hours manually reviewing video footage and extracting sensitive information. Redact allowed the process — which usually took the agency almost an hour and a half — a mere 25 minutes to complete.

“When selecting a solution that best fits the police department’s needs, the biggest factor was the actual amount of time spent in front of the monitor performing the redaction,” Druckenmiller said. “Veritone Redact dramatically reduces this time, making it practical to redact and release large volumes of video content. As demand for the public availability of police video intensifies, Veritone Redact will allow us to expand our release capability, while continuing to protect all types of PII.” — Sergeant Jason Druckenmiller, Oregon, Ohio PD

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
At Veritone, our mission is to help build a safer, more transparent and empowered society through artificial intelligence. Veritone’s government solutions enable police departments to process recorded interviews and redact audio and video evidence much more quickly, increasing transparency with the public and their constituents. By lowering the barrier to access cutting-edge AI technology, we help empower public safety through law enforcement and government sectors. Particularly, the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the need for support for societal health and safety. At Veritone, we believe that AI has the power to help advanced communities and government agencies through crises.

9. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share about you or your company?
For Veritone, company culture and its employees is the heart of the company. In an effort to constantly keep Veritone employees connected with each other, the organization developed an internal program called VERI Communities where all employees can connect and build relationships around common interests, passions, hobbies and topics.

VERI Communities encourage employees to try new things and develop new interests, all within an environment that celebrates inclusiveness and uniqueness. With over 15+ VERI communities, the program provides a way for employees to connect with each other and continue to foster personal working relationships.

10. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
Next month, we are announcing Veritone Contact. Veritone’s most recent AI-driven application for public safety professionals is Veritone Contact. Developed in conjunction with several California law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the state DOJ, Veritone Contact is an intelligent data collection application that helps California LEAs quickly and easily capture perceived demographic and other detailed data regarding pedestrian and traffic stops as required by California Assembly Bill 953.

In 2015, the California Legislature passed AB 953, the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA), which requires all city and county local law enforcement agencies in California, as well as the California Highway Patrol and peace officers of California state and university educational institutions, to collect perceived demographic and other detailed data regarding pedestrian and traffic stops. Records submitted to the DOJ pursuant to AB 953 will be stored in a statewide repository called the Stop Data Collection System (SDCS).

Veritone Contact helps significantly reduce the amount of time required by patrol officers to collect all requisite information. Available as a mobile app or on the officer’s MDT, Veritone Contact intelligently directs the officer to complete only the necessary perceived observational data. AI is employed to highlight for the officer potential PII, which is not to be included in data collection.

Main Features

Fast, automated stop data entry

  • Officers can quickly complete field interviews with easy, multi-select answer picklists. No manual, handwritten forms to complete.

  • “Spell check-like” capability automatically reviews all answers for possible PII.
  • Flexible data entry — officers can start and stop data entry at any time.
  • Veritone Contact works with smartphones, tablets, MDTs, and laptops which can connect securely to the agency’s network using a standard web browser.

Review stop data prior to DOJ submission

  • Command staff can batch review all officer reports.
  • “Spell check-like” PII detection highlights possible areas for correction.
  • Easy to understand visual dashboards provides command staff with a preview of all aggregated stop data information for analysis and potential corrective actions.
  • Secure delivery of stop data to DOJ performed on any desired schedule.
  • Optional: Command staff can add unlimited additional questions for other data collection initiatives within the agency. This data is never sent to DOJ.

Security and compliance

  • All data transmission is secured using 256-bit encryption.
  • User authentication through Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP or another service.
  • Supports CJIS compliance obligations.
  • Microsoft Azure GovCloud ready.

Veritone Contact helps officers quickly and efficiently collect RIPA compliant stop data. Built in conjunction with the California DOJ and several city law enforcement agencies, Contact guides officers quickly through the required questions needed to collect observational data.

Officers simply select the most appropriate pre-populated “picklist” value for each question. This eliminates the need for an officer to to manually write answers, speeding data entry.

For the questions that do require open ended response, similar to spell check in your email or word processing app, Contact leverages AI to prescreen all answers for any potential PII included in the officer’s entry. Once completed, the stop data record is security transmitted to command staff for PII review and subsequent submission to the state DOJ.

California AB 953 requires each law enforcement agency to ensure no personally identifiable information (PII) is delivered to the state’s DOJ Stop Data Collection System (SDCS). Veritone Contact makes this obligation easy to achieve. Contact provides command staff with the ability to quickly batch review all officer observational remarks for possible PII inclusion prior to submission.

AI is used to intelligently analyze each officer submission, flagging answers for possible PII. Should PII have been collected, staff can easily remove these references prior to submission to the state DOJ. What’s more, with Contact, command staff can optionally choose to collect additional information by adding custom questions for officers to provide additional observations to help with constituent transparency initiatives or officer training. These additional data points are never delivered to DOJ. Instead, they are stored for command staff use only.