How Can Artificial Intelligence Augment the Investigative Process?

ICLG Corporate Investigations 2020

In an article with the International Legal Guide, Tim Mueller and James Siswick discuss possible avenues where the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the investigative process. In addition, they explain specific applications and regulatory and/or policy encouragement for the use of AI technology in investigations and regulation to determine what role, if any, we should assign to this emerging and maturing technology.

As Kai-Fu Lee explains in his recent book, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, AI and machine learning have moved from the age of discovery to the application and implementation stage. Data scientists have made major leaps in the past decade to get us here. The complex algorithms have been written, the keys to manipulating massive datasets are known, and the technology is universal enough to be applied to a wide array of business problems.

The application of AI is certainly happening all around us. Doctors are using it to more accurately diagnose cancer, Automated Teller Machines (“ATMs use it to determine the hand-written numbers on deposited checks, it is even being used to identify lead pipes in the U.S. state of Michigan, and with increased proficiency, financial institutions are using it to more effectively and efficiently detect financial crime. The potential for application of AI is seemingly limited only by our imagination. Applying AI to everyday business tasks, however, is not without challenges.

As Sebastian Thrun, a founder of Google X and Google's self-driving car team, said, “Nobody phrases it this way, but I think that artificial intelligence is almost a humanities discipline. It's really an attempt to understand human intelligence and human cognition.” With this view in mind, this article will explore the possible applications of AI in the context of corporate investigations.

Special thanks to contributors Leo van der Westhuijzen, Rachel Sazanowicz and Mikayla Harris in the preparation of this chapter.

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