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Israeli University Launches Lab to Fight Crime Using AI and Big Data

The Center for Computational Criminology is the result of a partnership between Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Asaf Shalev 13:1401.03.18
A new research center in Israel will focus on the use of technologies like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and big data analytics in law enforcement.

 

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The Center for Computational Criminology, officially launched Wednesday in the southern city of Be'er Sheva, is the result of a partnership between Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). 

 

Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, left, and BGU President Prof. Rivka. Photo: PR Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, left, and BGU President Prof. Rivka. Photo: PR

The new center was set up to help investigators contend with technological challenges like mining social media for insights and unmasking anonymous cybercriminals.

 

“This cooperation will enable the police to bring technology to bear more effectively in enforcing the law and fighting crime, whether cybercriminals or traditional criminals, by turning a threat into an opportunity,” said Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, who attended the center’s inaugural ceremony.

 

Lior Rokach, the center’s director and a senior professor of computer science at the university, says data will transform the nature of criminal investigations, allowing law enforcement agencies to take preventative measures against crime.

 

“Today, we are on the threshold of the next big breakthrough: analyzing big data to discover hidden patterns to predict and prevent crime,” Mr. Rokach said in a statement. “The AI revolution of the past few years will prove to be even more significant than DNA testing for law enforcement, providing them with unprecedented investigative tools and new sources of evidence.”

 

University researchers and students will work alongside officers of the police’s cyber unit to develop tools for law enforcement like computers models that can track and visualize patterns in cybercrime.
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