Monitoring AI and hyper-automation
Robot judges are coming. A police force in England is set to become the first in Europe to use artificial intelligence (AI) to assess whether suspects pose too high a risk to be set free.
Durham Police are set to introduce a harm assessment risk tool, known as Hart, to classify arrested individuals as of low, medium or high risk of reoffending if released.
The program should be launched in the summer and works by taking into account the suspect’s gender, postcode and offending history.
The system is the brainchild of Cambridge University computer scientists and was first road tested in 2013. Since then the algorithm has helped police classify the risk status of offenders by monitoring them for more than two years to test whether or not they reoffended.
The project was deemed such a success it will now be actually used in decision making.
“It’s not the ultimate decision maker, it is a support for the officers and the limitations are it’s only plugged into Durham Constabulary data — not any wider data,” said Durham Police head of criminal justice Sheena Urwin. “The custody sergeant must also consider other factors that they are obliged to consider as part of their statutory function. Certainly there’s interest. About four or five forces from all over the UK — it’s not surprising.”