While the global health community at large continues to develop new strategies to contain the novel coronavirus, the University of North Carolina's Reese Innovation Lab is turning to artificial intelligence to try their hand at helping to get things back on track. 

On October 10th, 2020, the Reese Innovation Lab in partnership with Lenovo first deployed their AI-powered "Health Greeter Kiosks" at the Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The kiosks made use of large screens, depth-sensing cameras, and real-time anonymized data to determine whether or not attendees were wearing masks and if they were social distancing. If someone wasn't wearing a mask or was too close to another person, the screen issued an alert advising a correction of the behavior. 

Lenovo states that the screens were a success, as they were able to effectively determine whether or not attendees were following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Steve King, Reese Innovation Lab's Chief Innovation Officer, believes the company's kiosks are the first step in designing new safety protocols and will help them better understand human behavior while attending live events during the pandemic. "We needed real innovation to meet this unprecedented challenge, and pushing the limits of technology is at the core of our lab’s mission," King said. "Engineering a technological response to Covid-19 and event-attendance restarting is a real and rewarding challenge, [and] I’m grateful for the support of UNC-Chapel Hill leadership, our exceptional and inventive students and Lenovo."

The implementation of AI at this stadium could turn out to be a major win for the return of the music industry. While simply installing the kiosks in venues around the United States isn't going to bring concerts or festivals back immediately, they offer a new solution to navigate the safe return of those shows since we will be able to better understand how people behave. Even with these advancements, of course, it will require a great deal of responsibility from all attendees to ensure concerts are a safe place for everyone. 

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