Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, big data and "extended reality" are among the most significant improvements in technology that are making their mark in policing, Forbes reports. Such technologies give police officers and intelligence agencies unprecedented powers to crack down on criminal activity. They help tackle new forms of crime that are emerging as criminals become more inventive in their own use of technology and data.
Forbes summarizes some of the important technology advances. Internet of things (IoT) devices such as video doorbells and voice assistants, with their ability to capture incidental goings-on, are increasingly becoming valuable sources of intelligence for officers searching for evidence. Data from an Alexa smart speaker has been used by a court in a double murder case. Data from Fitbit fitness trackers have been used in several cases, including the case of a man accused of killing his wife. More than 400 police forces have partnered with video doorbell manufacturer Ring to access data captured from their devices with permission from the device owners. Computer vision is also being used in a new generation of lie detector devices, which work by analyzing microscopic movements in the eyes and face of the subject. Robots are useful for their ability to go into dangerous situations. While society and technology probably aren’t quite ready for a general-purpose Robocop, autonomous, mobile units will play an increasingly important role.