How Technology Is Changing The Face Of Policing

Technology moves fast and robotics and artificial intelligence are set to change our lives in so many different ways. People are already using artificial intelligence in their homes in the form of assistants like Google Home or Amazon Echo, which can control all manner of smart devices around the house. There are big leaps in robotics happening at the moment and, while we’re still a long way off having a personal robot butler in the house, the technology is being developed. These advancements are surely going to completely change the way that we live our lives on a day to day basis, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

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Artificial intelligence has been adopted by so many different industries and organizations to streamline operations and change the way that they operate. The police are one of the organizations that are benefiting most from artificial intelligence at the moment and it looks set to alter the way that they investigate crimes and pursue criminals in so many different ways. There have already been cases that used evidence taken from an Amazon Echo and a Fitbit. All of this technology is in its early stages still so we can’t be sure exactly what the long term effects will be but there is no doubt that it will change the face of policing forever.

This is usually seen as a good thing because the police can use this technology to find criminals faster and bring them to justice, but there is a lot of debate around it. In the wake of revelations about social media sites like Facebook misusing personal data, the issue of privacy is a hot topic. A lot of people fear that advancements in artificial intelligence will lead to stronger police surveillance and more invasions of privacy. The law has not yet caught up with recent developments in technology and that is a big problem.

Whatever your views on artificial intelligence and robotics in the police force, there’s no denying that it’s going to be an important change. These are just some of the potential ways that the police could make use of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Predictive Policing

Predictive policing is a very important part of the justice system that aims to stop crimes before they happen. That means monitoring known criminals to see whether they are likely to reoffend and using evidence to uncover planned crimes and stop them before they are carried out. Traditionally, this work is carried out by trained professionals with a bachelor’s in criminology who have a good understanding of how the mind of a criminal works. It’s up to them to look at evidence and intelligence and try to predict the actions of criminals. There is always going to be a place for that human touch, but artificial intelligence can really help here.

Predictive policing often involves the analysis of a huge amount of raw data and that’s difficult for a human to do on their own. But artificial intelligence will be able to do it faster and more effectively to some extent. However, current artificial intelligence cannot recreate the human mind exactly and we don’t yet know whether it will ever be able to. It can help police identify patterns in the evidence but it cannot understand how a person thinks. Identifying those patterns is particularly useful when trying to identify serial criminals because artificial intelligence can pick up on similar traits that appear in different crimes.

Artificial intelligence is also useful when it comes to monitoring previous offenders. It can help police to gauge how likely somebody is to commit another crime based on all of the available data. However, there are some big problems with this technology at the moment. A police force in the UK have already started using it but the results were very skewed. It identified minorities as being a far higher risk than white offenders, regardless of whether the other evidence suggested that was the case. But this technology is still in its infancy and hopefully, it will be able to come up with more accurate predictions in the future.


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When the movie Robocop was released, people probably didn’t think that it was going to become a reality, but it has in a way. You don’t have a robot policeman walking around ruthlessly killing criminals without question, but police robots are a thing. In Dubai, there are already robotic policemen patrolling the streets. They’re programmed to read facial expressions and they have a built in camera that sends a feed back to the police station so they can identify any wanted criminals that are out on the streets. They also have a touch screen on them so members of the public can easily report crimes. Most of them are deployed in tourist areas and act more as a deterrent than anything else. Arrests are still left to the human officers at the moment but that could change in the future when robotics technology is more advanced. Dubai has plans to make a quarter of their police force up with robot officers by 2030.

Now that the technology is there, it’s likely that other countries are going to follow suit at some point and start using robots in their police forces as well. The major benefit of this is that it puts more police officers on the streets and it’s more cost effective. That means robots can deal with a lot of the basic stuff, freeing up the time of human officers to deal with more serious crimes.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a great piece of technology that has had a huge impact on the tech industry, but police are making use of it as well. By filming crime scenes and recreating them in augmented reality, police officers that are not available in person can still help with the investigation. This is a massive help in the face of funding and manpower issues in police forces around the world.

We can’t be sure exactly how artificial intelligence and robotics will change policing because we’re on the cusp of a technological revolution, but there’s no doubt that it will have a massive impact.