UvA and NFI Open Forensic Research Lab 'AI4forensics'
Algorithms can support forensic experts with speaker recognition and facial comparisons, and also, for example, in tracing criminal money flows. In the AI4forensics lab that opened today, four PhD students and a postdoc are conducting research into artificial intelligence in forensics. The lab is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and is located in the ICAI - Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence in Amsterdam.
The research lab AI4forensics focuses on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in forensic evidence and is therefore unique in its kind in the Netherlands. "In five years' time we will apply AI even more than now," says Prof. Zeno Geradts. As a forensic researcher at the NFI and professor by special appointment of Forensic Data Science at the UvA, Geradts is one of the initiators of the lab. He expects that “AI will radically change the forensic research field in the coming years. It can be used objectively and we can achieve significant efficiency gains with it. More and more AI is needed to process the growing amounts of data. Hopefully, with the large amounts of data we will eventually be able to predict crimes and even prevent crimes.”
Four PhD students and a postdoc will work in the new lab. A PhD student focuses on speaker recognition. In addition, there is a PhD student and a postdoc who are working on the development of computer models for recognising hidden messages in photos or videos and for recognising deepfakes, respectively. Another PhD student is working on the Data2Activity site and is investigating whether the sensors (including movement) in mobile phones and smartwatches can be used to find out what someone has done. The fourth PhD student will focus on AI. Especially on recognising money laundering patterns.
Marcel Worring, professor of Multimedia Analytics at the UvA, calls the lab an important milestone. ‘With four PhD students and a postdoc, we now have the capacity to conduct constant research. This is done on the basis of a joint research agenda for the coming years. Until now, there was always uncertainty and we had no structural basis to look far ahead. It is there now and it was much needed. The research of the NFI and the UvA complement each other very well, and by bringing together practice and theory, our lab can lead to innovative solutions.'
Dr. Annemieke de Vries, Director of Science and Technology at the NFI: 'We expect a lot from the application of AI in forensic practice, such as recognising patterns between cases. Collaboration with universities is necessary specifically for technologies such as AI, because these developments are moving fast and we have to bring innovation initiatives together if we do not want to lag behind the facts. As the NFI, we will therefore have to make smart choices about where to focus our innovations, in order to continue the development of the forensic investigation at the NFI and to be ready in time for applications in the forensic chain. The new AI4forensics lab and the intensification of the collaboration with Marcel Worring's research group at the UvA will certainly help us with that!'
Source: NFI (in Dutch)