Feb 08 2023

Developers Created AI to Generate Police Sketches. Experts Are Horrified

Category: AIDISC @ 11:56 pm

Police forensics is already plagued by human biases. Experts say AI will make it even worse.

Two developers have used OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generation model to create a forensic sketch program that can create “hyper-realistic” police sketches of a suspect based on user inputs. 

The program, called Forensic Sketch AI-rtist, was created by developers Artur Fortunato and Filipe Reynaud as part of a hackathon in December 2022. The developers wrote that the program’s purpose is to cut down the time it usually takes to draw a suspect of a crime, which is “around two to three hours,” according to a presentation uploaded to the internet

“We haven’t released the product yet, so we don’t have any active users at the moment, Fortunato and Reynaud told Motherboard in a joint email. “At this stage, we are still trying to validate if this project would be viable to use in a real world scenario or not. For this, we’re planning on reaching out to police departments in order to have input data that we can test this on.”

AI ethicists and researchers told Motherboard that the use of generative AI in police forensics is incredibly dangerous, with the potential to worsen existing racial and gender biases that appear in initial witness descriptions.     

“The problem with traditional forensic sketches is not that they take time to produce (which seems to be the only problem that this AI forensic sketch program is trying to solve). The problem is that any forensic sketch is already subject to human biases and the frailty of human memory,” Jennifer Lynch, the Surveillance Litigation Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Motherboard. “AI can’t fix those human problems, and this particular program will likely make them worse through its very design.”

The program asks users to provide information either through a template that asks for gender, skin color, eyebrows, nose, beard, age, hair, eyes, and jaw descriptions or through the open description feature, in which users can type any description they have of the suspect. Then, users can click “generate profile,” which sends the descriptions to DALL-E 2 and produces an AI-generated portrait. 

For more details: Developers Created AI to Generate Police Sketches. Experts Are Horrified


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