The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), through its Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, signed a new agreement with the European Commission to bolster the development of the Toolkit for Responsible AI Innovation in Law Enforcement – a practical guide for law enforcement agencies globally on the use of AI in a trustworthy, lawful, and responsible manner.
Jointly conceived by UNICRI and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) on the basis of needs identified during the annual INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement, the Toolkit will contain a collection of practical insights, use cases, principles, recommendations and resources, which will guide law enforcement agencies in their exploration of AI. The funding provided by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs will contribute to the development of this operationally oriented instrument and facilitate its roll out in law enforcement agencies across the world.
While AI is becoming increasingly mainstream in many sectors, its use in law enforcement is still in its infancy and remains sensitive and controversial. Law enforcement agencies taking their first steps with AI tools face dynamic and complex challenges trying to navigate an area where best practices or guidance documents are currently not widely available. Although broadly seen as a transformative technology, numerous concerns have been raised about the use of AI, with concern for the infringement of human rights being central in this regard.
Recognizing the importance of these concerns and the potential for them to undermine public trust in law enforcement, the Toolkit for Responsible AI Innovation in Law Enforcement will raise awareness about the considerations and requirements and provide step-by-step recommendations for law enforcement agencies with diverse levels of technological knowledge, both for when they intend to develop AI tools in-house or procure them externally.
The initiative builds upon work undertaken by the UNICRI and INTERPOL on the use of AI by law enforcement, in particular the UNICRI-INTERPOL Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement – the leading global forum for law enforcement on the use of AI. In preparation for the development of the Toolkit, UNICRI and INTERPOL put together a Core Group of Experts from law enforcement, industry, academia and civil society, that served as a platform for initial discussions on the objective, structure, target audience and key points of the Toolkit. The Core Group of Experts will continue to assist in the development of the Toolkit throughout this next phase of the process. In addition to these stakeholders, the general public will also play a substantial role in the preparation of the Toolkit, being consulted by UNICRI throughout its elaboration.
The Toolkit for Responsible AI Innovation in Law Enforcement will be a key feature of the upcoming Fourth INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting on AI for Law Enforcement, scheduled to take place virtually in the second quarter of the 2022.