May 20, 2019
Whether you realize it or not, AI (Artificial Intelligence) plays a role in your everyday life. This technology helps GPS systems to provide up-to-date driving directions, enables chatbots to provide instant customer support, and allows streaming services to recommend shows and movies you might like. As this technology continues to advance, some experts suggest that AI may soon be able to predict crime. But, is this really a possibility?
Not as Science Fiction as it Sounds
Predicting crime before it happens may seem like a page out of a science fiction book, but the idea of using modern technology to predict crimes is not as far-fetched as you may think. In fact, in some ways, this is already happening. For example, banks use AI technology to detect possible fraud.
Now tech experts, through software development, are trying to find ways to use security technology, such as private and public security cameras to track, analyze, and predict crime. These modern surveillance cameras use software to predict and decide if there is a threat or not, if the threat is an accident or criminal action, and to alert the authorities.
Facial Recognition and Beyond
The FBI, TSA, and some local authorities are already using facial recognition to identify potential terrorists in public spaces, such as parks, train stations, and subways. Technology to predict crime goes beyond facial recognition. It looks for behavioral abnormalities, such as various mannerisms and expressions.
Predictive technology will collect relevant data from crime reports and compare this information to external data, including weather reports to determine if factors, such as weather, seasons, time, and even the day of the week play a role in predicting crime. While this technology can’t yet predict who will commit the crime, it can provide authorities with valuable data about where and when a crime may occur.
Security vs. Privacy
While the primary goal of using security technology to predict crime is to improve safety, there are some privacy issues to consider. Security technology may need to collect newsfeeds from both public and private video surveillance systems in order to provide the most accurate predictive data possible.
Police already extract surveillance footage from private video systems to use as evidence after a crime occurs, but some are uneasy with the thought of them collecting this data prior to a crime. The public will have to come together to determine how far this technology can go to protect the safety of its citizens.
One thing is certain – AI technology is advancing at incredible rates. The question isn’t if security technology can be used to predict crime. The question is when will this technology be available on the marketplace. It’s just a matter of time.
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Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.