Listen: Tech can sift through video evidence...but can it avoid bias?
"This. Marketplace podcast is brought to you by our L A podcast, exploring ethics and technology in the latest episodes, host Malaysia Zomorodian investigates, all the personal data collected while shopping online, and why passwords are horrible and how to fix them IRL wherever podcasts are found or at. I IRL podcasts dot org, and by send pro from Pitney Bowes, send pro online software makes it easy to save time and money print shipping, labels and stamps, right? From your desk and access discounted rates. Try it free for thirty days and get a free ten pound scale when you visit PBA dot com slash tech. That's BB dot com slash tech. Assume everything you're doing is being recorded on video seems like a gold mine for the police except there's too much gold from American public media. This is marketplace tech demystifying the digital economy. I'm Molly would. Hardly anything happens. These days that isn't caught on video whether it's smartphone security cameras drones even doorbells have cameras built in these days. And all that video can be a great thing for law enforcement evidence galore, except for a few problems one there so much video that companies and law enforcement agencies are developing algorithms and machine learning to sift through it looking for patterns or places or people and to that technology can have all the same biases and flaws as the people who designed it. Kelly gates is an associate professor at the university of California, San Diego who studied the rise of forensic video evidence, it will become more difficult. Once you have these algorithms systems to understand the forms of bias that are designed into them. It will require a lot of expertise to be able to understand how others work and to be able to identify the kinds of bias that are being built in. And I think that that's going to require a lot of over. Oversight and technically informed oversight. How does this kind of expectation of constant surveillance in some ways shaping the legal system? Well, I think that there's rarely these CSI moments, for example, where technologies are applied or some kind of enhancement technique is introduced and kind of smoking gun appears so that the decisive evidence is discovered that solves the case. More often, there's a lot of work that goes into using video from surveillance systems or from other sources to put together timelines into establish sequences of events and that process, there's potential there for not just outright falsification or intentional false vacation of evidence. Although that is a real problem, but also all kinds of implicit bias or even unconscious bias that comes from the. The legal system whereby, you know, forensic analysts who are doing this kind of work are working under or in very close cooperation with prosecutors. So there's a lot of need to resist the temptation in other words to just simply find exactly what is needed to gain a conviction. Well, so I imagine there's a private video economy developing here, right? What can you tell us about the companies that are working on this? This is not the exclusive domain of you know, law enforcement agencies there are specialized companies for higher that do this kind of work companies like acts on which is formerly tasers which offers a suite video forensics, tools that offers law enforcement customers, and I think, you know, again, there's a real need to see that these companies make the technologies that they're developing transparent because these are technologies being used by our legal system. Kelly gates is an associate professor at the university of Cal. San diego. The video evidence situation gets even Messier when you consider how easy it's become to create fake videos that are almost impossible to distinguish from real ones. The government tech agency DARPA has spent almost seventy million dollars in the last two years on technology to spot so called deep fake videos. And now for some related links. Yes, it is back. Happy new year and happy Monday. Hey, you know, it's probably already making tech news this week C ES. Yup. I'm there right now, actually, and I'll be sending little dispatchers throughout the week. Even though the wonderful. Jed Kim will actually be hosting the show you'll hear those updates here in related links. Our senior producer Yves tro is with me attending her first ever CAS. And I've tried my best to prepare her for the sights. The sounds the two our taxi lines, the miles and miles and miles of walking the overwhelming flashing lights, and the weirdo little gadgets that you didn't even think you could possibly connect to the internet put you just can't know what it's going to be like until you hit the ground. And until my first report tomorrow follow along with my coverage on Twitter at Molly, wood and on Instagram. You'll find me at Molly would fro and you'll get to see how even hanging in there. I'm Molly would and that's marketplace tech. This is a PM. This marketplace podcast is brought to you by Sunpro from Pitney Bowes, San pro online software makes it easy to save time and money, no matter what you ship or mail print shipping, labels and stamps, right? From your desk and access discounted rates. Try it free for thirty days and get a free ten pounds scale when you visit PBA dot com slash tech. That's PBA dot com slash tech."