Study: Police Are Using AI Tools To Fight Crime, But Don’t Understand Them

A March 2023 study from North Carolina State University has found that while police departments are using AI as part of criminal investigations, these departments “do not understand how these technologies work.”

Examples of AI tech used by police include predictive policing, facial recognition, and gunshot detection.

Jim Brunet, a co-author of the study and the director for the NC State Public Safety Leadership Initiative, wrote, “We found that study participants were not familiar with AI, or with the limitations of AI technologies.”

He added, “However, study participants expressed support for these tools, which they felt were valuable for law enforcement.”

The study noted: “Study participants expressed concerns about the risks of algorithm bias (diversity and representativeness challenges), the challenge of replicating the human factor of empathy, and concerns about privacy and trust.”

For the study the researchers conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with law enforcement professionals in North Carolina.