Robocop policing has now arrived, it has been claimed
Thames Valley Police have said that AI computers could be used to answer 999 calls, detect crimes and identify offenders over the next 10 years.
However, David Green, the director of the Civitas think tank, suggested that AI computers could unfairly target ethnic minority groups.
He said: “Robocop policing has now arrived in England. This Orwellian reliance on automated decisions has been found to undermine the most basic precepts of the justice system when it has been tried in America.
“An experiment in Fort Lauderdale, for example, found that the algorithm reflected human prejudices, including racial bias.”
AI computers mimic humans by themselves making decisions, but Thames Valley Police have warned that there is a risk of “bias” in the AI software and has expressed concern that AI computers “might be unable to reason with a human”.
In a submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into the Implications of Artificial Intelligence, the force said that “even at the lowest level AI could perform many of the process driven tasks that take place in the police”.
The news has arrived as ministers are preparing to publish the first ever review into how AI technology will change Britain in the coming decades.
Thames Valley Police have said: “Recent tests of AI in policing indicate there is a risk of bias perpetuation in AI outputs, therefore engagement with privacy and civil rights groups will be necessary to persuade the public that everything possible is being done to mitigate this whilst doing our best to keep them safe.
“Of utmost importance is that any AI process that involves an ethical issue, must have a high level of human oversight and clear justification.
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“The automation of processes also introduces a risk of being unable to reason with a human when events occur outside expected parameters.”
A Thames Valley Police spokesman added: “Artificial Intelligence is likely to emerge in law enforcement activity over the next ten years, enabled by broader digital transformation across police forces, improved IT infrastructure and developments in AI capability and utility in both the public and private sectors.”
AI is already used by Scotland Yard to recognise faces at the Notting Hill Carnival in London.
Durham Constabulary is also planning to use AI for deciding whether to keep suspects in custody.
Thames Valley Police have said that AI computers could be used to detect crimes
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Renate Samson, chief executive of Big Brother Watch, has also expressed concerns about the use of AI technology in policing.
She said: “Technology, such as facial biometrics has a very low success rate with more innocent people being picked out of the crowd than criminals.
“The data held by forces is far from accurate or complete. With rubbish data, AI will give rubbish answers leading to negative consequences for society.
“Investment in these technologies is costly, police cuts are at critical proportion, investing in new unproven technologies whilst taking bobbies off the beat is highly problematic.”
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