There has always been a need for more effective and accurate ways to detect and control crime. The crime rate may have shown a decline in some countries, but there will always be criminal activities in the world. Fortunately, the governments and police have now access to modern technologies that can help them tackle criminal activities and reduce crime. Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly one of their weapons against crime!
How can governments use AI to control crime?
Governments and their institutions have to go through huge amounts of data to find patterns that can help them detect, control and predict criminal activities. The rise of AI in crime prevention and detection is helping them process the oceans of data they receive to identify and reduce the occurrence of criminal activities.
Gunfire detection – AI technology can help the police detect and reach places where gunfire is used by receiving data from sensors installed in a city’s infrastructure. The sensors can detect and locate the gunfire location. They capture the sounds the gun make and determine the position of the shooter. Based on an alert, the police can act fast even if no one is reporting the gunfire.
Video analysis and redaction – video analyses can now be performed at an incredible speed rate due to the integration of AI tools. Before the AI era, agencies had to spend several hours to redact a short video for the public or to watch and analyze video surveillance footage to identify and find suspects or evidence. AI and machine learning can filter the data and identify patterns and specific characteristics (like a woman with a white hat) at extraordinary speed and help the officers redact or remove all the other non-pertinent information.
Facial recognition – facial recognition software is now instrumental in helping governments and law enforcement identify suspects. Take, for example, the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol that took place in January. AI technology helped the police identify suspects by analyzing a database that included people’s social media accounts and other digital footprints. The police’s AI tool, Clearview AI found matching photos of some of the suspects at a speed of one second per search and accelerated the investigative process. Cameras installed in train stations or even at the entrance of concerts can help identify suspects and capture fugitives.
Clue detection at crime scenes – sure, TV series with private investigators wouldn’t be the same if the detectives wouldn’t do their job the old, charming way, but, in real life, AI can break a case faster than imagined. Based on photographs taken by the police at the crime scene, AI systems can identify objects that may reveal clues about other similar crimes or find connections between investigations.
Can AI help prevent criminal activities?
Now we know that AI can help us catch criminals, but many focus on its capability to prevent crimes. Research is focused on predicting crime places and identifying persons who have the potential to become criminals as much as on identifying suspects and combating criminal activities.
The common assumption is that crime is never random. It is based on a collection of patterns, and who better to identify those patterns than artificial intelligence? AI technology is used to monitor the content that will eventually result in pattern predictions. When applied to criminality, patterns can be based on the digital footprints of a person and the identification of unusual activities. Many criminals use the internet in their attempt to commit crimes. Most of them need a way to communicate, and algorithms have a way to instantly detect any unusual words that may be used in the preparation of the crime.
AI systems can identify doubtful patterns that could easily escape human observation. They can then send reports to the law enforcement departments that can analyze the unusual activity and decide if it needs further investigation. Whether we’re talking about posts on social media, used networks of Wi-Fi, or internet protocol addresses, every digital data can be included in Artificial Neural Networks that help AI predict unlawful activities. This type of analysis is often used to detect crimes related to fraud and money laundering.
Moreover, artificial intelligence software can be used to predict crime places. Based on data related to a certain crime, let’s say a theft, the system can analyze the crime type, crime location, and criminal weapons to predict potential future crime places. This can help law enforcement agencies narrow down their patrolling to the spots that present a higher risk of becoming the next target.
AI-powered crime-fighting tools can also help international agencies and governments to uncover any terrorist activities. Social media companies work hard to uncover and remove any terrorist recruitment videos and messages and this happens almost as soon as they are posted.
AI technology is currently used by numerous companies to detect any criminal activities taking place within their operations. From employee theft to money laundering, AI technology can help private companies identify and stop crimes. Moreover, social media companies are already using machine learning to block illicit content like child pornography.
Due to the billions of pieces of data collected, stored, and used today, both governments and private companies have decided that artificial intelligence is one of the best ways to combat crimes and identify criminals.