AI systems make very good detectives

Emre Çitak
Jul 18, 2023
Updated • Jul 18, 2023

AI in law enforcement is a rapidly expanding domain that extends far beyond social media trends and autonomous tasks like smart homes and vehicles. Its applications are diverse, encompassing the identification, prediction, and prevention of crime.

Among the most promising advancements is the utilization of AI systems to detect criminals based on their driving behaviors.

One such system, Rekor, employs GPS data, traffic camera footage, and social media posts to unveil patterns associated with criminal activity.

Rekor AI
Rekor AI can track criminals by employing GPS data, traffic camera footage, and social media posts - Image courtesy of Rekor

Officer Rekor on duty

In a particular instance, Rekor successfully exposed a drug trafficker who regularly traveled between Massachusetts and upstate New York. As announced by the company, the Rekor AI systems was commissioned by the New Rochelle Police Department to identify vehicles.

Analyzing the driver's routes, the algorithm flagged them as "commonly used by narcotics pushers" and characterized their stays as "abnormally brief". Consequently, the program identified the driver's activities as indicative of drug trafficking.

The potential of AI systems to transform law enforcement is profound. They possess an exceptional ability to discern patterns that might elude human observation. Nevertheless, concerns regarding bias and discrimination have also been raised in relation to these systems.

Rekor AI
Rekor AI systems were used by New Rochelle Police Department to identify possible suspects' vehicles - Image courtesy of Rekor

AI systems exceed mere social media trends

AI systems for criminal identification transcend the realm of passing fads; they are an instrumental technology with the capacity to genuinely impact crime prevention and resolution.

By enabling law enforcement to swiftly and accurately identify criminals, these systems contribute to a more effective approach. Moreover, they have the potential to proactively deter criminal activity.

Ethical considerations come into play

The use of AI systems for criminal identification raises ethical concerns that warrant careful examination. Potential issues include the possibility of targeting minorities or marginalized groups and the risk of privacy violations.

It is crucial to approach the ethical implications of AI systems with utmost caution.

By implementing robust oversight, these systems can be harnessed as valuable tools for law enforcement, balancing their potential benefits with the need for accountability and fairness.


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