Using technology to get results
Earlier this month, Director & Co-founder of Griffeye, Pelle Garå, was published in the Interpol Newsletter, talking about the possibilities of technology in digital media investigations. Read the article (the first in a series of three) here, and stay posted for the upcoming parts which will be published in the next couple of months.
Part 1: Accumulated knowledge
When the idea for international police cooperation started to take shape during the early part of the 20th Century, there can have been little idea of the scale of the cooperation that would develop over the years. There certainly wouldn’t have been any comprehension of the sheer volume of data including images and videos this would involve in our modern era.
Over three articles, Griffeye known for its Analyze platform for collecting, processing, analyzing, visualizing and managing images and videos, explores the challenges and opportunities law enforcement faces in this area. Not least showing how technology can help us get better results, quicker. The first article addresses accumulated knowledge and its value. In parts two and three, we’ll address the limitations for investigators working in silos, plus how workflows can be quicker and more effective thanks to automation.
What is accumulated knowledge and why is it important?
Like all of us, you carry around a great deal of knowledge and experience in your head. Accumulated over a long time or even your entire life, you have enormous experiential intelligence, and you use much of this knowledge freely. In fact, almost effortlessly, like when you get in your car in the morning and all of a sudden you are at work: how did that happen? Or when you cook your favorite meal, without following any instructions even though it involves hundreds of individual actions and decisions.
Drawing on the experience of others
We routinely solve many of the problems we encounter by just using the knowledge we have accumulated throughout our lifetime. But if we take this idea and apply it to more than one person, it gets even more interesting. Collectively, a group of people will accumulate far more than any one person can learn.
We use what others have already figured out, and then we add to it. And we reuse what others have done when faced with particular problems. Reflecting on the importance of accumulated knowledge, Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
At the heart of law enforcement cooperation
Two excellent examples of the benefits of accumulating knowledge as a common, shareable resource to combat crime and solve cases are Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database and UK’s national Child Abuse Image Database (CAID). They are both powerful intelligence and investigative resources that let specialized investigators share data with colleagues. Sharing knowledge and building on each other’s knowledge makes sure that important information and clues are not missed and avoids the risk of individuals and teams repeating each other’s work.
Using old and new knowledge
The ICSE and CAID databases make a great case for how to gather and structure data to accumulate knowledge – particularly with how old and new data can be used to build intelligence. Clues are found and cases are cracked when a face or object is recognised from a previous investigation. It’s that ability to access and apply all the knowledge we have that is so important.
Which will bring us to the next issue and the next article. If we recognize the value of gathering and sharing knowledge in daily investigations then what happens if investigators can’t access this knowledge, share it or use it thanks to the limitations of their tools and systems. How do we get them out of their silo?
About the author
Pelle Garå is a Director and co-Founder of Griffeye with over 10 years’ experience working closely with law enforcement in the area of applied image and video analysis. Over this time, Pelle’s main focus has been on implementing new ideas and new solutions, and supporting the development of greater, more effective collaboration between individuals and organizations to achieve better and quicker results.
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