TECH TALK: Police use of artificial intelligence is on the rise but is not without its pitfalls, says BILL MAGEE
The UK’s long-arm-of-the-law has been much under the spotlight lately. What’s hardly been reported is how digitally-generated artificial Intelligence (AI) systems threaten to negatively impact on the tacit long-standing reputation and very foundations of what we recognise as policing by consent.
Online and mobile pitfalls associated with ethics, the legal field and AI have led to Interpol reacting by placing British law enforcement agencies on high alert over their technological transformation plans that more than likely include AI features.
Several forces have already brought in outside high-tech expertise in the form of cloud and digital solutions expert Exception to accomplish initiatives strictly in line with Police Vision 2030 and National Policing Digital Strategy.
Europe’s criminal policing body maintains many AI systems require extra careful handling because they have both “limitations and risks” in implementation through to everyday usage.
Significant security gaps also exist and it remains a “complex task” to navigate the job of institutionalising responsible AI.
As a consequence, strict management and governance of high volumes of sensitive data is required, backed up by “awareness raising (and) training” of other criminal justice actors including judiciary, prosecutors and lawyers.
Aimee Smith, director of data at the Metropolitan Police Service, says digitally-based information and intelligence systems permeate and assist every single decision in policing.
The co-chair of the National Police Data and Analytics Board told the Police Digital Summit 2023 at Brighton it is crucial for law enforcement to get it right. “Not only because it enables officers and staff to do their jobs more effectively but also because it is the foundation of policing by consent”.
AI and automation is increasingly becoming an integral part of any digital project in every sector. Technopedia warns its deployment is poised to change our world forever “as one of the most disruptive technology revolutions of this century.”
The trouble is unravelling what is exactly real information and the AI synthetic data version. It is estimated AI-generated content could account for as much as 90% of the internet in just a few years.
The World Economic Forum warns AI might be a powerful tool but it is “rife with contradictions.” Axios AM claims ChatGPT, Dall-E and other programs “spill torrents of verbiage and images”.
ITPro ponders if generative AI is the “future of everything” but adds it should not be necessarily our ultimate journey. There also exist twin dangers of information overload and degradation.
AI can “go rogue” as biases and errors in data are recycled. Also, increasingly, the original trainer will be another AI with a digital error very difficult to reverse.
It’s a situation set to become more complicated as the novel tech becomes more interactive in usage. I guess we mere mortals somehow fit into the online action. The Economist headlines it as “Humbling Humanity.”
AI has got it wrong with face-recognition systems. The UK Government wants CCTV/AI scanning of every shoplifter to become standard practice on the police national database. A tall order?
Exception has helped deliver, to date, to six UK police forces what is the world’s first implementation of Niche RMS on an Azure platform to meet the complex challenges of re-platforming.
Niche RMS is a modern, full-featured police records management system especially suitable for large agencies, multi-agency systems and data sharing. It delivers significant efficiencies and policing benefits together with greater protection for communities.
Policing knowledge is deep in Exception’s DNA under a strict “police first, digital second” policy. To date the company has installed such systems for Police Scotland, City of London Police, and forces in Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside.
Based on migrating case and records management systems to the cloud, such an ICT service transition guides the process to drive forward tech-based decisions through the development of a three-year digital and data strategy.
A tech roadmap supports the recruitment of a Chief Information officer (CIO) and an “enterprise design authority” established to ensure effective architectural oversight and design governance.
All strictly in line with ensuring safe, secure and appropriate data handling and storage in line with meeting high policing digital standards.
This column is supported by digital transformation company Exception