Dubai Police Launch AI That Can Spot Crimes BEFORE They Happen: Crime Prediction Software Identifies Patterns That a Human Would Miss

Minority Report-style crime prediction has edged closer to reality with a new AI software launched in Dubai. Space Imaging Middle East announced that the Dubai Police force has deployed its Crime Prediction software, which analyzes patterns from police databases and attempts to spot when and where an event is likely to occur next.

The software uses ‘sophisticated algorithms’ to make its predictions, and according to the firm, the data it generates is ‘highly accurate.’

According to SIME, the technology can alert patrol teams to which districts may need more police attention in order to prevent a crime.

“This software is uniquely intelligent in its capability to accurately discern intricate patterns of criminal behaviour in seemingly unconnected events and then predict the probability of reoccurrence, we are confident that these precise analytics, when combined with the knowledge and instincts of experienced police officers, will create a formidable force to deter crime.” said Spandan Kar, Head of SIME’s GIS Division.

The idea of using artificial intelligence has sparked controversy in recent months, as some have claimed it may come with unintended consequences, or even operate with racial biases. In September, researchers published a report arguing that the technique will have a positive impact on crime prevention.

But, they warned it could also put millions of jobs at risk. The prediction comes from a major piece of research called 'Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030' by researchers at Stanford University. 

Minority Report-style crime prediction has edged closer to reality with a new AI software launched in Dubai. 
A scene from the 2002 film is pictured. 

They say that 'predictive policing' will be heavily relied upon by 2030. The report points out that machine learning, which allows computers to learn for themselves, is already being used, and could have major implications for fighting crime.

While police could use this method for catching criminals, it could also lead to an 'overbearing or pervasive' presence, the researchers warn.

AI could also lead to the loss of millions of jobs, although the researchers say that it will create new kinds of jobs. In their paper, they wrote: 'But the new jobs that will emerge are harder to imagine in advance than the existing jobs that will likely be lost.'

AI is already being used to combat financially motivated crimes, such as fraud and to scan social media to 'prevent those at risk from being radicalised by ISIS or other violent groups.' But as AI technology develops and becomes more advanced, the range of applications is set to grow.

The researchers said: 'Law enforcement agencies are increasingly interested in trying to detect plans for disruptive events from social media, and also to monitor activity at large gatherings of people to analyse security.

“There is significant work on crowd simulations to determine how crowds can be controlled. At the same time, legitimate concerns have been raised about the potential for law enforcement agencies to overreach and use such tools to violate people's privacy.”

In the 2002 film, Minority Report, police use a psychic technology to arrest and convict murderers before they commit their crime. 

Surveillance cameras (stock image) could send alerts to police when they see a person lingering down a dark alley, 
which suggests they may be about to perform a crime.

But the researchers say that the AI prediction tools will not be human biased, and instead will work by identifying trends in pre-existing crimes. For example, surveillance cameras could send alerts to police when they see a person lingering down a dark alley, which suggests they may be about to perform a crime. The team said: 'Machine learning significantly enhances the ability to predict where and when crimes are more likely to happen and who may commit them.' 

But society's acceptance or resistance of AI technologies is what will determine their success, according to the researchers. They added: 'If society approaches these technologies primarily with fear and suspicion, missteps that slow AI's development or drive it underground will result, impeding important work on ensuring the safety and reliability of AI technologies.

“On the other hand, if society approaches AI with a more open mind, the technologies emerging from the field could profoundly transform society for the better in the coming decades.”

Artificial Intelligence


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