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Using Artificial Intelligence to Address Criminal Justice Needs

NCJ Number
Date Published
Christopher Rigano
After discussing developments in the field of artificial intelligence - defined as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines” - this article discusses applications of AI in criminal justice and public safety, with a focus on issues addressed in NIJ’s (National Institute of Justice’s) AI research portfolio.
The NIJ-funded AI research has been primarily in the areas of public safety video and image analysis, DNA analysis, gunshot detection, and crime forecasting. Video and image analysis is used in the criminal justice and law enforcement communities to obtain information on people, objects, and actions pertinent to criminal investigations. Regarding DNA analysis, NIJ has supported a project whose objective is to combine the strengths of approaches that involve human analysts with data mining and AI algorithms. Research has shown that AI technology has the potential to assist in complicated DNA analyses. The discovery of signatures in gunshot analysis offers another area in which to use AI algorithms. One NIJ-funded project has the goal of developing AI algorithms to detect gunshots, differentiate muzzle blasts from shock waves, determine shot-to-shot timings, determine the number of firearms present, assign specific shots to firearms, and estimate probabilities of class and caliber. Regarding AI use in crime forecasting, NIJ-supported researchers are developing a system for analyzing large volumes of criminal records to predict criminal recidivism. Online access to various AI-related research reports is provided.
Date Created: October 4, 2018