Technology Week: Companies make their pitch to police

Technology Week: Companies make their pitch to police

Every week, we review News of the Week, Proposes an analysis of the most important developments in the technology industry.

Hello, Adam Satariano here. I cover the technology in Europe for the New York Times.

This past week, as part of a research I was conducting on the official use of technology, I traveled to Berlin to attend the European Police Congress, an annual conference of law enforcement agencies.

When the conference began 20 years ago, the discussion was largely about training techniques and other police-on-the-beat-type work, said lead organizer Uie Proll. The companies used to sell guns, safety gear, radios and other equipment.

But like every other industry, the conversation is now dominated by technology. In the panels that I attended and in my conversations with attendees, the central issues were how to take advantage of artificial intelligence, data analytics, facial recognition and other emerging technologies.

Many representatives of the technology industry were present. A common theme was that police departments risk giving criminals an edge if they do not buy modern technologies. “They want it, they need it,” said Ozan Ilmaz, a director of Ava Project, a data-analytics company whose customers include the Los Angeles and London police departments.

Microsoft’s image recognition technology is displayed. Samsung showed off various handsets for police officers, including a specially designed Galaxy phone. IBM was pitching artificial intelligence. Oracle showed how its technology would help with immigration, gang and drug investigations, and prisons.

Cognitech, a German facial recognition company, showed me how its technology can keep people from following around the airport or public space. The sales rep told me that the demand for its software from law enforcement was never high.

Nearby was the NSO Group, the booth for the firm Alleged to have created spy software that was used against journalists and government dissidents. Read its slogan, “Search Anywhere Anywhere.” The marketing manager at the booth refused to speak to me.

While law enforcement agencies are seeing clear business opportunities, representatives from the police department say they have fought the moral trap of using the latest technology.

Many said that clear laws were needed, especially to outline which systems were acceptable with emerging technologies like face recognition and artificial intelligence. Otherwise, law enforcement authorities will be left creating their own policy, as the London Police Department announced last month when it announced its use. Real-time facial recognition.

In the years ahead, the most important debates about technology will be about how governments are adopting this new system and how it impacts them about

Cade Metz and I have just published an article about how people in the United States and Europe are being influenced by the government, using algorithms to make decisions in legal justice, social welfare and the service of children.

In Bristol, the city I visited on the west coast of England, an algorithm is being used to flag young people who may be at risk of crime flag After years of budget cuts, officials see it as a way to protect lost human resources.

In Philadelphia, Cade met a man whose probation was originally determined by the algorithm. The guy didn’t know that software played such a decisive role in his life until Cade told him.

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