UK police services are undergoing an AI revolution, and it may be a problem

  • Reports indicate that police services in the UK are planning to invest heavily in Artificial Intelligence technology, but that very few people understand the limitations of the technology.

    Artificial Intelligence is sweeping through industries around the world, having already revolutionised the manufacturing and medical technology sectors to name a few. Northern Irish tech companies have used the technology to help unresponsive hospital patients communicate with their loved ones again and even to predict and prevent industrial accidents with agricultural equipment and machinery.

    The police and security services play an equally important role in keeping us safe, so it's no surprise that this industry has also been looking to AI for solutions to modern day problems. The lack of knowledge about what AI can actually do and where the technology's limitations lie may be leading to a dangerous situation in which the technology is being applied without adequate public oversight, however.

    Wired UK has an interesting piece on this impending problem in the UK's police services, which began using AI heavily throughout 2018 and plan to invest heavily in the technolgoy by 2020. Police have made hundreds of arrests based on facial recognition technology that uses AI to check CCTV footage against a known watch list, for example.

    The lack of understanding of the technology has also led to an unusual situation in which the police aren't communicating effectively with the public about how they're using artificial intelligence in the field, creating a dangerous lack of transparency and oversight. Wired UK predicts that 2019 will be the year that ethics will have to catch up with the technology.

    Source: Wired UK

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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