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Towards Responsible Artificial Intelligence Innovation

This report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for law enforcement is the most recent product of the collaboration on AI between the Innovation Centre of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and UNICRI's Centre for AI and Robotics. Together we have created a unique forum for law enforcement to discuss advancements in AI, as well as the impacts of using this technology to fight crime.

Lawfulness, social acceptance, trustworthiness, responsibility and ethics are important concepts that readers will find regularly repeated throughout this report. Indeed, while there is great potential in AI, the use of this technology by law enforcement also raises very real and serious human rights concerns that can be extremely damaging and undermine the trust of communities. Human rights, civil liberties and even the fundamental principles of law upon which our criminal justice system is based may be unacceptably exposed, or even irreparably compromised, if we do not navigate this route with extreme caution.

The turmoil created by the emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in late 2019 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by the virus has served to underscore the importance of this. As the global law enforcement community finds itself thrust into the middle of an unparalleled situation, playing a critical role in halting the spread of the virus, preserving public safety and social order and tackling the rapidly changing face of crime, new technologies such as AI will be powerful resource. Yet, even in times of crisis, we must strive to uphold these fundamental principles and rights and ensure respect for the rule of law.

AI is here to stay. The question we must therefore grapple with is not if law enforcement should use AI, rather it is precisely in what ways can or should law enforcement use AI and how it does so in the most responsible and appropriate manner.