AI in Policing

AI tools are developed with the aim of preventing crime with tools such as computer vision, pattern recognition, and the use of historical data to create crime maps, locations with higher risks of offence. Whilst they may reduce on-the-fly human bias, they may automate systemic biases. For example, facial recognition techniques are less reliable for non-white individuals, specially for black women.

Historical data may reflect the over-policing certain locations whilst under-policing others. Those patterns get encoded in the algorithms, which reinforce the over- and under-policing of the same areas in the future. The abundance of data can also make postcode a proxy for ethnicity.

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Racial Justice: Decode the Default (2020 Internet Health Report)

Technology has never been colourblind. It’s time to abolish notions of “universal” users of software. This is an overview on racial justice in tech and in AI that considers how systemic change must happen for technology to be support equity.

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Unmasking Facial Recognition | WebRoots Democracy Festival

This video is an in depth panel discussion of the issues uncovered in the ‘Unmasking Facial Recognition’ report from WebRootsDemocracy. This report found that facial recognition technology use is likely to exacerbate racist outcomes in policing and revealed that London’s Metropolitan Police failed to carry out an Equality Impact Assessment before trialling the technology at […]

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Can make-up be an anti-surveillance tool?

As protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement continue in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, protection against mass surveillance has become top of mind. This article explains how make-up can be used both as a way to evade facial recognition systems, but also as an art form.

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Machine Bias – There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals and it’s biased against blacks

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks. This is an article detailing a software which is used to predict the likelihood of recurring criminality. It uses case studies to demonstrate the racial bias prevalent in the software used to predict the ‘risk’ of further crimes. Even for […]

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Another arrest, and jail time, due to a bad facial recognition match

A New Jersey man was accused of shoplifting and trying to hit an officer with a car. He is the third known black man to be wrongfully arrested based on face recognition.

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How AI Could Reinforce Biases In The Criminal Justice System

Whilst some believe AI will increase police and sentencing objectivity, others fear it will exacerbate bias. For example, the over-policing of minority communities in the past has generated a disproportionate number of crimes in some areas, which are passed to algorithms, which in turn reinforce over-policing.

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Unmasking Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is not the next generation of CCTV. Whilst CCTV takes pictures, facial recognition takes measurements. Measurements of the distance between your eyes, the length of your nose, the shape of your face. In this sense, facial recognition is the next generation of fingerprinting. It is a highly intrusive form of surveillance which everyone […]

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Facial recognition could stop terrorists before they act

In their zeal and earnest desire to protect individual privacy, policymakers run the risk of stifling innovation. The author makes the case that using facial recognition to prevent terrorism is justified as our world is becoming more dangerous every day; hence, policymakers should err on the side of public safety.

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Is police use of face recognition now illegal in the UK?)

The UK Court of Appeal has determined that the use of a face-recognition system by South Wales Police was “unlawful”, which could have ramifications for the widespread use of such technology across the UK. The UK Court of Appeal unanimously decided against a face-recognition system used by South Wales Police.

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UK police adopting facial recognition, predictive policing without public consultation

UK police forces are largely adopting AI technologies, in particular facial recognition and predictive policing, without public consultation. This article alerts about UK police using facial recognition and predictive policing without conducting public consultations. It also calls for transparency and input from the public about how those technologies are being used.

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Data Analytics and Algorithmic Bias in Policing

Algorithms used for predictive policing rely on datasets which are inherently biased because of historically over- or under-policing certain communities. This results in the amplification of those biases.

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Decision Making in the Age of the Algorithm

A good summary of the differences between predictive analytics – used in AI – and traditional methods, in terms of methods and impact.

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