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Tackling future policing challenges with AI and robotics

Singapore -

Tackling future policing challenges with AI and robotics


The first global meeting to examine the opportunities and risks of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics for law enforcement was organized by INTERPOL’s Innovation Centre and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), through its Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in Singapore on 11 and 12 July.

Technological advances in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics can have many implications for police worldwide, both positive and negative. In the hands of criminals, these technologies can pose digital and physical threats, while at the same time these tools offer new opportunities to police in combating crime.

The two-day conference brought together some 50 participants from 20 countries, including representatives from the law enforcement and partners from the private sector and academia, to exchange expertise on the latest developments in the fields of AI and robotics, understand how they can be used by law enforcement to support their activities, and gain insight on potential challenges.

Discussions on the ways the law enforcement could adopt these emerging solutions looked at the use of AI for conducting virtual autopsies; crime prediction systems to support police to optimize resources; behaviour detection tools; techniques to autonomously research, analyse and respond to international mutual legal assistance requests; blockchain-based traceability approaches that respect privacy; and autonomous patrol vehicles.

The participants also considered the challenges that such innovations could present to police, notably related to ethics and privacy concerns. “Innovation is not a matter for police alone. Strong partnerships between all stakeholders with expertise is necessary to ensure police can quickly adapt to future challenges and formulate inventive solutions,” said Anita Hazenberg, Director of INTERPOL’s Innovation Centre.

Several private sector companies gave live demonstrations of virtual communications, facial recognition, and incident prediction and response optimization systems to provide law enforcement counterparts a better understanding of how such technologies work and could benefit the policing community.

Police forces which are already using innovative technologies, such as the Singapore Police Force’s patrolling robots, to assist their daily work shared their experiences during the conference.

“Initiatives such as this will help us to prepare for potential future types of crime and capitalize on technological advancements to develop new and effective tools for law enforcement, fully complying with ethical and privacy principles” said Irakli Beridze of the UNICRI Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.