Seattle Police Department Ends Use of Artificial Intelligence Platform for Body Camera Footage and Officer Monitoring - Credit: GeekWire

Seattle Police Department Ends Use of Artificial Intelligence Platform for Body Camera Footage and Officer Monitoring

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has announced that it will no longer be using an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to analyze body camera footage and officer behavior. The decision was made in response to public concerns about the accuracy of the AI system, which had been used by SPD since 2018.

The AI platform, developed by a company called Axon, was designed to detect potential misconduct or other issues with officers’ behavior while on duty. It would analyze body cam footage and compare it against a set of predetermined criteria for acceptable conduct. If any discrepancies were found, they would be flagged for further review by supervisors or internal affairs personnel.

However, after several years of use, there have been increasing questions raised about the accuracy of the AI system’s results. Critics argued that its algorithms could not accurately interpret human behavior and might lead to false positives or incorrect conclusions being drawn from video evidence. Additionally, some felt that relying too heavily on automated systems could lead to bias in policing decisions due to their lack of understanding of context and nuance when interpreting data points such as facial expressions or tone of voice.

In light of these concerns, SPD decided earlier this year that it would discontinue its use of Axon’s AI platform going forward. In making this announcement Chief Carmen Best said “We are committed to ensuring our department is held accountable for our actions through transparency and accountability measures… We believe this decision allows us greater flexibility in how we monitor officer performance while continuing our commitment towards equity-based policing practices.”

Going forward SPD plans on utilizing more traditional methods such as supervisor reviews and citizen feedback surveys when evaluating officer performance instead of relying solely on automated systems like Axon’s AI technology. This shift away from automation is part of a larger trend among law enforcement agencies across the country who are looking for ways to ensure fairness in their operations without sacrificing efficiency or effectiveness in their investigations process .

At present time there is still much debate over whether automated systems can ever truly replace human judgement when assessing complex situations such as those encountered during police work but one thing remains clear: regardless if machines are involved or not all departments must strive towards providing equitable outcomes within their communities at all times . As Chief Best stated “Our goal is always justice – both real justice for victims as well as procedural justice where everyone feels heard , respected ,and treated fairly .”

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