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AI to help police unmask criminals

Artificial Intelligence-powered tool will be used to gather evidence and crack cases

Artificial intelligence (AI) powered facial recognition technology will soon become part of the standard law enforcement tool kit of the Kerala Police.

The department’s cyber research facility, Cyberdome, at Technopark here has developed a family of state-of-the-art, AI algorithms to help the local police search hundreds of hours of video footage to fish about for, as an example, a “person wearing a red shirt” or the “number of black vans” that crossed a traffic intersection during a particular window of time.

A senior investigator said the State police routinely analysed, commonly by human sight, footage from surveillance cameras, both public and private, to pursue criminals and track missing persons.

For instance, investigators had poured over the grainy video feed from scores of overhead security cameras in Kerala, Chennai, and Bangalore in their attempt to trace college student Jesna Maria James, 19, who disappeared mysteriously after leaving her home for her aunt’s place on May 5. More recently, video footage had emerged as evidence in the murder of Maharaja’s College student Abhimanyu.

Officials described the new technology as a powerful tool for the police to gather evidence and catch criminals. The system also enables law enforcers to compare faces of suspected offenders to the department’s extensive database of known offenders.

They would also be able to run criminal searches of the video image of a face against national databases, including those of a civilian nature such as driving licence, passport records and other biometric documents. Officials said the AI-powered system was more speedy and accurate than al human analysis.

The State police also plan to configure the system to make security at airports, railway stations and urban hubs smarter. The system would monitor motion round-the-clock and trigger an alert if a person or a vehicle behaved erratically.

State Police Chief Loknath Behera and IG Manoj Abraham are overseeing the project.

AI to help police unmask criminals