Artificial Intelligence and law enforcement: challenges and opportunities

1 December 2020
2020 INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting

SINGAPORE – The disruption of AI-controlled systems, AI-authored fake news, and the use of driverless systems as weapons were identified as probable AI-enabled future crimes during the INTERPOL-UNICRI Global Meeting on Artificial Intelligence for Law Enforcement.

The third edition of the annual global meeting, which was held virtually from 23 to 27 November 2020, gathered more than 600 participants from some 80 countries. Representatives from law enforcement, as well as related fields in academia, industry, international organizations, government and NGOs heard from 50 speakers on topics such as:

  • The potential misuses of AI;
  • Law enforcement use of AI, including special panels on the use of AI to combat online child sexual abuse and terrorist use of the internet and social media;
  • Latest AI developments for law enforcement in the private sector;
  • Developments in related areas such as the use of AI in the criminal justice system, AI and criminal liability and the interaction between AI and drones.

Case studies were shared by speakers from the Biometrics Institute, the World Economic Forum, the private sector and other international organizations, who highlighted the clear need for collaboration, the inclusion of interest groups, and diversity to develop widely-accepted and useable frameworks. These findings were echoed by informal polls conducted with participants during the week-long meeting.

Speakers spoke to the challenges and opportunities of AI in law enforcement.
Speakers spoke to the challenges and opportunities of AI in law enforcement.

There was a consensus that a more data-driven and scientific approach to criminal investigations would be crucial in tackling AI-related threats. These observations will be taken into account in the development of a “Responsible AI Innovation Toolkit for Law Enforcement”. Transparency, accountability, and trust also emerged as crucial factors in the development of the AI Innovation Toolkit.

With all the aggregated feedback from the meeting in mind, a group of experts, with additional input from a wide range of stakeholders, together with UNICRI’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and the INTERPOL Innovation Centre will continue to work on the development of the Toolkit.

The shared objective is to meet the current policing need for a collection of practical insights, cases, lessons learned, principles, recommendations and resources to support and guide law enforcement in the design, development and deployment of AI.