Why AI experts are needed to help fight crime

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation has become commonplace across many areas of our lives, from retail, with shopping apps that learn customer behaviours, to transport where Google Maps feeds back live data on traffic incidents and routes to avoid.

However, one lesser mentioned area where we could begin to see increased automation is policing and law enforcement. 

The Chair of the UK National Police Chief’s Council, Sara Thornton, has called for AI and robotics to play a role in how the police investigate crime in the UK. With almost every individual having a vast online profile, police officers are left with a huge amount of data to analyse, all of which can impact the result of an investigation.

With resources tight in law enforcement, technology can help play a part in how police officers review the masses of data associated with each investigation.

As Sara comments:“I think the challenge for us is how we can use technology more, beyond search terms. How can you use [...] machine learning, artificial intelligence to get clever tech to help us to do this?” 

With machine learning and AI already being used in civil cases within the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service has set up a group to research how this could be utilised in criminal trials too.

Chris Rosebert, Head of Data Science & AI at Networkers, shares his insight on some of the interesting developments in AI and law enforcement:

“Police are beginning to use connected devices like Amazon Echos, Fitbits and gaming consoles to help contradict alibis and convict criminals. As well as this, there are systems in place which use machine learning to identify patterns in behaviour and help predict the likelihood of criminals reoffending.”

The use of AI in policing is something that is being looked into globally, as law enforcement agencies around the world are turning to AI, automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) to help transform the way they fight crime. 

In Dubai they have already moved towards robot police officers patrolling the streets and the Head of Smart Services at Dubai Police has stated that they plan for 25% of their police force to be made up of robots by 2030. The first one has already been deployed in the busy tourist areas of the city.

The robot officer is programmed to speak six languages, can read facial expressions and has a touch screen where civilians can report crimes.

Law enforcement is by no means the only area in which AI and automation are becoming more influential, as almost every industry looks to utilise this technology to become more efficient. With the increased demand for skilled AI professionals comes a concerning skills shortage.

Computer Weekly recently reported that there were more than two jobs for every qualified AI professional. Chris explains:

“There are numerous opportunities out there for AI and robotics specialists as the demand for their niche skillsets grows globally. Major technology businesses around the world are clamouring for Data Scientists, Machine Learning Experts and other AI professionals to be on the front line of exciting developments that are anticipated in the field in the coming years.”

View our latest AI & Robotics jobs. Or learn how to build a career in data science.

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