AI could redefine police techniques

Ever since the artificial intelligence chatbot GPT technology burst on the global computer media scene suggesting its multifarious applications and uses in almost any area of human endeavour

AI could redefine police techniques

(Representational Image) File Photo

Ever since the artificial intelligence chatbot GPT technology burst on the global computer media scene suggesting its multifarious applications and uses in almost any area of human endeavour, researchers, computer engineers, scientists and specialists are innovating and ushering in completely new domains of applications of generative intelligence to grapple with life’s fast emerging problems.

Only a few weeks ago, in the United States, a group of the nation’s hightech titans, including Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder; Elon Musk, the brash electric Tesla car maker and owner of X (Twitter renamed); the noted Indian-American computer czar Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive of Google; Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO; Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Meta (renamed Facebook) and more than a dozen computer wizards belonging to the “A I Insight Forum’’ met in Washington (September 14) to thrash out crucial legal and managerial issues, and assess this technology’s potential for health, safety and energy.

The three-hour closed-door meeting was organized by the Senate’s New York Democratic Party leader, Chuck Schumer, “as part of a crash course for Congressmen on A I, since dozens of technology companies race to be at the forefront of and be seen to influence its direction.”


A part of the meeting’s main agenda was ‘how to confront new A I technology that might alter jobs, stop the spread of disinformation and develop its own kind of intelligence.’ Alexander Caedmon Karp, co-founder and CEO of the software firm, Palantir Technologies, dwelled on the importance of A I in the defense sector.

Meanwhile in India too, prodigious attention is being progressively paid to unfurl infrastructure for ensuring an individual’s self-defense, civil defense, public security and public defense. A I’s role in existing services, like the state police departments, paramilitary forces, home guard services, coastal guards, etc., are under active scanner to be blended and equipped with this fast developing highly efficient technology.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann is on record as having said recently, (The Statesman, Sept 23) that his government will soon introduce artificial intelligence techniques “for enhancing the efficiency of the Punjab Police to make it a front-ranking force in the country.’’ Mr. Mann who was addressing the newlyrecruited 2,999 men and women in the state police, pointed out that Punjab will seek the services of the reputed US tech company,

Google, to improve policing in the state generally, and the law and order environment particularly all over the 3,323 km-long Indo-Pak border. This international border is deemed to be one of the most dangerous spots in the world where armed clashes occur most frequently. Incidentally, Google is also learnt to have announced that “A I systems equipped with acoustic sensors can analyze sound patterns in real time to detect, unlock and pinpoint the location of crime spots, “and crime-fighting tools and armaments, such as guns and shots, etc.”

The most sophisticated A I technology enables faster response-time, quickens the investigation process and enhances officer safety which can in turn potentially prevent further violence. It has revolutionised, even helped stave off crime. A hard reality is that the transformative power of A I for police personnel has been proved to be exceedingly commendable. A I’s predictive faculty has multiplied police departments’ successes in investigation. As a result, it has also been an immensely morale-boosting factor for the police personnel. A I’s Facial Recognition technology can be instrumental in successfully matching the faces in police photo labs and through CCTV cameras. Punjab Police can yoke this technique in tackling Indo-Pak border crime.

This can help identify the habitual crime offenders, and missing persons on both sides of the border. In addition, A I has listed some useful crime detection, investigation and analysis tools. AI-based civil protection models can assist in investigation, search and rescue operations during emergencies such as natural disasters, and man-made hazards. A I systems are also being applied in triage and diagnosis:

The Chinese A I firm, AliBaba, is believed to have built systems to diagnose the coronavirus disease in CT scans and thereby support the medical personnel. The UK’s National Health System is understood to have incorporated A I-diagnostic criteria of Covid-19 in their medical chatbots. Developed by an accessibility advocate and founder of the website, ‘Speechify’, Cliff Weitzman, the following tools have revolutionized crime prevention and investigations to help the police in crime prevention and investigation, crowd management and monitoring:

1. PredPol – it’s a predictive policing software that uses machine learning to analyze crime data and predict where future crimes are likely to occur.

2. ShotSpotter – is an AI-based gunshot detection system. It uses acoustic sensors to detect and locate the sources of gunshots in real time, and helps provide information for rapid response and crime detection.

3. BriefCam – is a video analytics platform that employs AI algorithms for video surveillance analysis. It can process a large amount of video footage and extract relevant information, such as people, objects and helping search specific details.

4. Palantir Gotham – is a data integration and analysis platform and allows for the aggregation and analysis of diverse data sets, helps to uncover patterns and connections between individuals, events and locations.

5. NEC NeoFace – is a facial recognition software that provides high accuracy in identifying individuals from images or video footage and helps in investigation and enhances security measures.

6. IBM i2 – is an intelligence analysis platform that combines data from various sources, such as social media, law enforcement databases, and public records. It helps analyze complex datasets, and generate actionable information. Meanwhile, researchers continue relentlessly unveiling the newer horizons of this amazing technology.

A I is bound to open up new vistas of its use (and misuse) in times to come. It will not be an exaggeration to say that A I can prove to be an excellent tool for law enforcement.

(The writer is a veteran journalist and journalism teacher.)