How AI Will Affect Law Enforcement

Researchers at Stanford University have recently begun a new research project they call AI100, a 100-year research project that aims to understand the various ways that the advancement of artificial intelligence will affect society. One of the areas of interest to researchers is law enforcement, particularly, the idea of predictive policing.

In Minority Report, psychics called “precogs” can know people’s intentions and people can be arrested for crimes they’re about to commit. Of course this is science fiction but in the near future, AI may be advanced enough to identify trends in pre-existing crimes to the extent that it can accurately predict when a crime is about to occur.

Law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies are already using AI to some degree. AI systems scan social media looking for people of interest showing signs of radicalization who may commit acts of terror. It’s also used to detect so-called white collar crime such as fraud.

Machine learning will enable AI systems to do even more in the way of predictive policing by predicting when and where crimes will occur and who may commit them. The Stanford University team wants to ensure that such technologies aren’t abused by police and the justice system and that the innocent don’t suffer as a result of such technologies.

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