ACLU sounds the alarm on use of artificial intelligence

CHICAGO — The American Civil Liberties Union just released a study that shines a light on artificial intelligence and law enforcement.

While the video analytics being dissected may not be operational quite yet, the ACLU said the idea is ripe for problems.

Lollapalooza, the Bud Billiken Parade, the Pride Parade, even a busy travel day at O’Hare International Airport, are all scenarios the ACLU said where policing by mass surveillance could create dangers for even the most innocent of citizens.

Rachel Murphy keeps a close eye on police practices and said the public should be worried now about how artificial intelligence and surveillance cameras combine.

“We could be moving into a state of surveillance that is more active,” she said. “Real time monitoring of every move you make.”

Murphy pointed out that the video analytics is far from fool proof and has shown inaccuracies in the past.

“Studies have shown it is less accurate when it comes to women and people of color,” Murphy said. “We need to make sure we are not over-relying on this technology as something infallible and imperfect.”

While advocates might call it good policing or even preventative when it comes to crime fighting, Murphy calls the mass surveillance invasive technology.

“I think the CPD has a lot of work to build up that trust before they can expect the public to be ok with this really invasive, frankly, quite scary technology,” she said.

While there are no cases on the books yet showing a violation of this trust, the ACLU said a lack of transparency and due process when it comes to policing and surveillance means the public should speak up now because it could change where they go, what they do and who they do it with.

“You may abstain from a protest, skip a certain doctor’s appointment because you don’t want to go into that building, decide not to hold your partner’s hand in public,” Murphy said.

A Chicago police spokesperson said the department is not using any artificial intelligence programs currently, but admits that is where policing is headed.

The ACLU would like to get ahead of it by sounding alarms and  demanding transparency.

Click HERE to read the full report.

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