Across the world, investigators and law enforcement officers are tackling a rapidly evolving and expanding workload fueled by an increase in complex modern-day crimes.

As technology alters the type and methodology of the crime itself – the evasion of tax payments, theft of public funds, erroneous disbursement of benefits, gaming of government systems, property crimes and horrific crimes against humans – it can also aid investigators.

Investigators are deploying machine learning (ML) models to uncover activities that fit identified fraud schemes and to identify new and emerging patterns and trends. In addition to detecting tried-and-tested crime schemes, ML can find suspicious transactions as criminals alter their schemes. Investigators also use natural language processing (NLP) and text analytics to extract information from social media, crime reports and other documents.

GenAI is the latest technology that can help investigators assimilate information to make better decisions and work more effectively. A recent fraud technology study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and SAS found that 83% of fraud fighters expect to add GenAI to their toolkits within the next two years.

Below are a few examples of how traditional AI, when augmented with GenAI, can help investigators.

GenAI as a special investigations digital assistant

Crime investigations typically involve a massive amount of intelligence reports. These reports are extremely time-consuming to read but extracting key people, addresses, phone numbers and relationships that are pertinent evidence to a case can also be cumbersome. New information learned from a crime report demands scouring previously read reports, making the process repetitive and time-consuming.

GenAI and large language models (LLMs) can help find information items and connect the dots between them faster and easier. An LLM-powered “digital assistant” can be of great value as it interprets intelligence data to answer questions and pull out the most relevant information. A digital assistant could generate summary narratives, highlight critical details, identify potential gaps and conflicts within the investigative process, and suggest follow-up tasks.

What sets this approach apart is GenAI’s adaptive nature. It learns and evolves with user feedback, constantly refining its models and providing deeper contextual understanding within the investigative domain. This dynamic interaction ensures accuracy, explainability and transparency at all points in the process.

Additionally, the collaboration between LLMs and traditional AI further enhances many other aspects of crime and investigation work.

GenAI for conversation analysis

Conversation analysis has redefined how investigations approach digital exchanges. The conversation analysis tool is a new addition to SAS® Law Enforcement Intelligence. This tool revolutionizes investigation risk assessment by ingesting and organizing transcripts from digital exchanges on mobile devices. The feature presents the data in an easy-to-use viewer, which shows the exchange between two or more people.

The tool’s key feature is its ability to navigate and select highlighted key terms, which speeds up the process of identifying opportunities in massive logs of conversations. This could be useful in crimes like online child sexual exploitation and online grooming, in which a conversation between a predator and a victim reveals evidence of manipulation, money exchange or a meeting place. It could also identify risk indicators in social media exchanges, such as escalating behavior within the conversation.

The injection of GenAI capabilities into our conversation analysis tool will allow law enforcement agencies to examine large chat logs more closely and identify behaviors of concern, ongoing criminality and threats of risk and harm.

GenAI for post-incident reviews

GenAI can also facilitate dispatchers' work. An officer receiving a call must gain as much information from the caller as possible, articulate the incident in the system, and identify risks, actions, and recourses accordingly. This high-pressure task is prone to human error and personal perspective. Through procedural documentation, LLMs can review dispatch data and decision making, providing an opportunity to support subsequent decisions and ensure the quality of service can be maintained across an organization.

A look toward the future

Using AI and GenAI marks a significant milestone in evolving investigative practices across various crime domains. This technological synergy offers investigators a chance and a transformative opportunity to revolutionize their operations, leading to more effective crime prevention and detection strategies.

Explore how SAS supports law enforcement, criminal justice and corrections with industry-leading analytics and evidence-based practices.


About Author

Ellen Joyner-Roberson, CFE

Global Marketing Advisor

Ellen Joyner-Roberson, CFE, is Global Marketing Advisor at SAS where she defines industry strategy and messaging for the global fraud and security markets in banking, insurance, health care and government. With more than thirty years of experience in information technology, she helps clients capitalize on the power of analytics to combat fraud and keep the public safe. This includes bringing greater awareness of how to apply machine learning and AI to detect evolving fraud tactics, while realizing ROI in technology investments. In addition, she consults with clients to reduce fraud losses and mitigate risk across their enterprise. Joyner-Roberson graduated from Sweet Brier College with a degree in Math and Computer Science. Most recently, Ellen has brought to market our Intelligence and Law Enforcement solution called SAS® Intelligence and Investigation Management and a cross industry solution focused on procurement integrity.

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