Engineering Student Start-up Percepta is Bringing their ‘Ethical AI’ to the Pennovation Accelerator

Percepta, a start-up that Penn Engineering students that launched last year and will be joining the Pennovation Accelerator this summer, was recently profiled in Philly. What began in Penn Engineering classrooms has now grown into a retail security product that aims to cut down race, gender, and age bias in the search for shoplifters.

Instead of standard video surveillance, Percepta uses “ethical AI” technology to turn footage of shoppers into 3D scans that analyze body movements. The technology looks for tell-tale behaviors, such as avoiding employees, looking for cameras, or putting products in their clothing.

The Percepta team features three Computing and Information Science seniors who graduated this week: Philippe Sawaya, Jonathan Mak, and Rahul Sekhar. Alexander Lee, who graduated from the College this week, and Neil Gramopadhye, a College junior are also on the team.

During their development, the Percepta team has worked with Vanessa Chan, Jonathan and Linda Brassington Practice Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Undergraduate Chair of Materials Science and Engineering, and Jianbo Shi, Professor of Computer and Information Science, as advisors on the project.

According to Philly’s Paige Gross :

“The team will work this summer toward putting more final touches on the technology of the product and starting marketing for it. They’ll be piloting the product first in smaller spaces, like the Penn book store, before they start to think about big-box stores like Target or Walmart.”

Read more about Percepta on Philly.