AI IN FORENSIC SCIENCE: 5 Ways in Which AI is a Success in Criminal Investigation

Fingerprints and evidences. Crimes and investigations. Magnifying glasses and test reports. Detectives and forensic experts. Sidney Sheldon and Goodfellas and Catch Me If You Can…you get the point. We’re definitely referring to crime thrillers and all the paraphernalia we can associate this genre with.

Think about the last time you heard or read about a criminal investigation being carried out. Was it only the cops or the CBI or any such equivalent investigation body typically dealing with the entire case? While it is often people from these domains who ostensibly handle such investigations, another very prominent branch is the forensic department. Whether it’s matching fingerprints, conducting postmortem or producing forensic reports, this department does it all. With rapid technical advancement in all the fields, particularly in the domain of investigation and forensic science, Artificial Intelligence has successfully made its grand entry into this domain as well! How is AI being implemented in the field of forensic science?
Last time, we spoke to you about the role of RPA in law. Well, we’re back with a blog; and today, let’s have a look at the role of AI in forensics:

1.  INVESTIGATION IS FUN, BUT CAN WE SAY THE SAME ABOUT CONSOLIDATING DATA?

Forensic investigation involves extensive research collecting of evidence from different sources and then consolidating the same in order to arrive at logical conclusions. While the process of vigilantly deriving such data from ‘mysterious’ sources can certainly be a productive and interesting job, handling large chunks of data can often be confusing and chaotic. AI can help forensic experts with handling data effectively and performing meta-analysis at various levels during the investigation. This can save a considerable amount of time and also ensure that forensic investigators have enough time and inclination to work on other important tasks!

2. OKAY…BUT WILL AI ALSO ENSURE THAT ALL THIS DATA IS ACCESSIBLE? YES!

AI understands that it’s not sufficient to merely collect and analyse information. The collected data must also be easily accessible to the concerned parties, so that it may be retrieved at any point of time when it’s required. And so, AI technology can be effectively applied to prepare repositories of data. It can be systematically stored in your systems and retrieved as and when required.

3. “EVENTUALLY, EVERYTHING CONNECTS…” AND AI CAN HELP YOU RECOGNIZE THESE PATTERNS!

“Eventually, everything connects…” is a statement by Charles Eames. And as an investigator, it is important to recognize these intricate connections. This helps one to connect two and two together and complete the whole picture. However, a lot of times, patterns can be very specific and complex and thus difficult to keep track of. This is why investigators often take the help of modern technology to recognize such patterns. AI technology can help with patterns such as identifying different elements of one image; detecting patterns in emails and messages; and matching new information with different types of existing data in the system databases. It can also help with matching suspect information with the existing criminal records and intimating investigators of any previous criminal activity that the concerned suspect may have been involved in.

4. “BUT…WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE?” ASKED EVERY INVESTIGATOR EVER.

Yes, we’re talking evidence – the most crucial aspect of every criminal investigation. Without sufficient evidence, every hypothesis and argument may be rightly negated, however relevant or evident it may intuitively appear. And AI technology can contribute significantly to the investigator’s constant quest for evidence. For example, it can produce case stories and graphics of hypothetical scenarios which can help investigators analyze the given premise in the right direction. Moreover, the various statistical tools offered by AI help to formulate logical evidences that aid successful investigations of criminal cases.

5. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GATHERING AND STORING DATA…AI CAN BE QUITE AN ANALYST, TOO!

We know that non-AI computational techniques also exist in analyzing information. However, these methods may often not cater to large volumes of data. And that’s where AI technology steps in. Artificial Intelligence can help investigators analyze large chunks of data by applying statistical and probability-based principles. Here’s where data mining comes in handy. This process involves the discovery of patterns in data with the help of machine learning and statistical tools. Data mining can be of considerable assistance to the crime branch.

So there! That was our list of contributions that AI can make to the field of forensic science and criminal investigation. Criminology and forensics is not only about applying various techniques and analyzing evidences to reach logical inferences – it also involves intuition, keen observation skills and sensitivity. And technology is a poor substitute when it comes to these typically human qualities. So, as long as criminal investigation exists, humans will be extensively required in this challenging field. Let us leave you with a quote from “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”, a story from the renowned Sherlock Holmes collection:

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

SOURCES:

  1. News-Medical
  2. SAS-Space

AI IN PHARMA: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Pharmaceutical Industry

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity,” says Hippocrates.

Through centuries of dedication and extensive research, the medical industry has managed to come up with remedies to innumerable ailments and diseases, and has found cures for illnesses that used to be relegated as incurable and deadly. And the pharmaceutical sector performs an indispensable role in the world of medicine. From diagnosis and testing, to prescription and treatment, the pharmaceutical industry works around the clock in order to ensure optimal health and well-being. Having said that, the various processes involved in pharmaceutical interventions are extremely intensive and cumbersome, and a number of these can afford simplification to a great extent. Enter AI.
Artificial Intelligence is no less than modern-day Frankenstein’s monster, in that it is human’s magical creation that can perform all those tasks which humans are either incapable of carrying out, or end up investing too much time and effort in. Today, from chat-bots at our disposal to self-driving cars, the world is approaching an AI renaissance of sorts. In such a scenario, can such an integral domain as pharmaceutics stay far behind? We are back with a blog, and this time, we shall disclose to you the key areas in pharmaceuticals where AI is being put to use, as well as those sub-fields where AI has tremendous scope:

1.SAY GOODBYE TO ELABORATE TESTING LABS!
Testing and diagnosis forms a crucial part of the intervention process, in that it provides the doctor and the patient with a definite direction in the tumultuous journey of treatment and cure. The usual testing and diagnosis process consists of examining, in a laboratory, the collected samples of the patient, and detecting any abnormalities or irregular patterns in the same. However, with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, it is now possible to use a compressed version of lab testing, with the help of easy-to-use diagnostic kits. In fact, a report published by AIMEDIS suggests that in April 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved to commercialize the first AI machine to detect diabetes retinopathy, a major eye disease. AI is almost like your Superman of the pharma world – a magical savior.

2.‘CLOUD NINE’ AIN’T FAR AWAY!
Need personalized medical treatment and solutions? AI has the perfect solution for you. AI now consists of a cloud-system called IBM Watson that can store large amounts of patient data. Then, with the help of this vast repertoire of information, IBM Watson can come up with tailor-made solutions for each patient based on individual symptoms and requirements. Heard of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? How about we replace ‘apple’ with ‘AI’?

3.AND NOW, DR. ROBOT WILL PERFORM YOUR SURGERY…
Unless programmed in a faulty manner, robots cannot falter in their deeds. What if a perfectly designed robot performs surgery on a patient? There’s no escaping the fact that while doctors are no less than demigods to us, they are just as human as any of us, and they deserve their own breaks and rest.
With AI and unbelievable advancement in robotic technology, robots can now be programmed to perform assisted surgery, which not only ensures absolute precision and better control of surgical instruments, but also provides surgeons with intermittent breaks during the course of the surgery. Moreover, with the help of Verb Surgical, a Johnson and Johnson initiative in collaboration with Google, it is now possible for surgeons to manage, with remarkable efficiency, the paraphernalia of surgery, including pre-surgery planning and preparation and post-surgery analysis and care.

4.CANCER IS CURABLE. AND AI’S CONTRIBUTION TO CANCER TREATMENT IS DURABLE!
AI is now being widely used in the various processes of cancer treatment, including diagnosis, treatment and radiation. The faculty of medicine at the Toronto University has come up with a unique software that utilizes the data obtained through radiation therapy, in order to come up with customized treatment plans for the patients. In addition, IBM Watson is also being used in order to develop cancer treatment plans. While clinicians are still majorly involved in the entire radiation process, AI is predicted to soon reduce the segmentation process duration from 4-5 hours to around an hour.
In addition, Genetech, a member of the Roche group (which is a research-based healthcare giant), in collaboration with GNS healthcare, has come up with a machine learning technology dedicated to cancer treatment. This software processes large amounts of information on cancer patients, and converts these to computer models that can be used to come up with new cancer interventions.

The sub-fields of pharmacy and medicine listed above are just the tips of the iceberg. Artificial Intelligence is predicted to bring about substantial changes in various stages and phases of cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. However, while AI and robotics can provide patients and doctors with personalized solutions, and bring about efficiency in the process, any journey of medical intervention requires emotions and empathy alongside intelligence. And that’s precisely why one cannot do away with humans in a profession as sensitive as medicine and pharmacy. Perhaps, if the right balance between AI sensibility and human sensitivity is attained, it is possible to achieve unparalleled heights in the domain of healthcare and medicine.

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