Futures of Control: AI in Criminal Investigation

MOZFEST X IMPAKT - Curated by Rosa Wevers

8 March 2022
14:45 — 15:45

Location: Online programme

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From predictive policing systems to biometric detection software, AI systems are increasingly changing the field of crime investigation. Artificial intelligence does not only assist in tracing people who have committed a crime but is also used to predict where crimes are likely to occur. While appearing to be objective, systems of AI have become instruments of power that use data from the past to influence the future. 

As researchers such as Ruha Benjamin have shown, such systems tend to function as ‘mirrors’ of our biased societies, that reflect existing inequalities and program them into the future. This results amongst others in the overpolicing of marginalised communities. Why are these systems so popular, despite the ongoing range of concerns and issues that come to light? What can they offer and what kind of future do they promise to provide? And how can these technologies and the people that use them be controlled and held accountable?

For this event, IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] brings together experts and artists to discuss the political implications of predictive policing and biometric surveillance. We will explore how AI is used in crime investigation, how it impacts our freedoms and rights as citizens, and how AI can also be used differently: as a tool to create awareness about inequality and fight police brutality.    

Speakers include:

  • Gerwin van Schie, lecturer at the Media and Culture Department of Utrecht University, investigating processes of datafied racialization in the Netherlands
  • Lotte Houwing, policy advisor at Bits of Freedom and there she focuses mainly on the relationship between the State and the citizen and the power relations that go with it
  • Ahnjili, data scientist, Ph.D. candidate, artist, and science communicator. Ahnjili’s academic research focuses on developing smartphones- and wearables-based biomarkers 
  • Robert Glas, artist investigating the formal structures of the state, predominantly its laws and regulations and the technologies used to enforce them.

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Image credits: Robert Glas, Video still from “2020”, (2019)



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