In the ever-evolving landscape of public safety and criminal investigations, suspect identification stands as a pivotal component. Over the years, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have relied on a variety of techniques, some of which have proven to be challenging and limited. 

Eyewitness accounts, once considered a gold standard, have faced scrutiny due to their susceptibility to memory errors and biases. Forensic evidence, while highly valuable, comes with its own set of limitations, such as the time-consuming nature of analysis and the potential for contamination.

Enter the age of technology, which has drastically altered the way law enforcement approaches suspect identification. Innovations in data collection, processing, and analysis have paved the way for faster and more accurate identification techniques. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has proven particularly transformative, revolutionizing the field of criminal investigations.


In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • The power of artificial intelligence in suspect identification
  • Advancements in AI-powered tracking and redaction technology and practices
  • The ethical considerations of AI-powered suspect identification

The Evolution of Suspect Identification Methods

The role of AI has surpassed many expectations, extending its reach into crucial sectors such as law enforcement. Specifically, the use of AI for suspect identification has proven to be a transformative tool for agencies worldwide, streamlining criminal investigations and increasing the efficiency of crime prevention efforts.

Traditional Techniques for Identifying Suspects

Traditional techniques for identifying suspects have long relied on eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence. However, these methods come with inherent challenges. Eyewitness accounts are susceptible to memory distortion, leading to inaccurate identifications. Forensic evidence, while valuable, can be time-consuming to process and is subject to contamination.

The landscape has shifted with evolving technology. New tools offer the potential to address these limitations. AI can analyze vast amounts of data swiftly, enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of suspect identification. 

Despite these advancements, it’s important to recognize the need for a balanced approach, where AI complements rather than replaces traditional methods. This synergy could revolutionize how law enforcement identifies suspects, ultimately leading to more effective criminal investigations and improved public safety.

The Advent of Artificial Intelligence in Suspect Identification

Suspect identification using AI primarily revolves around facial recognition technology, head detection technology, and human-like object detection (HLO) technology. Data from security camera footage, photographic evidence, and person-of-interest databases are processed using intricate machine learning algorithms. This method involves mapping biological points to create unique identities, allowing the AI to identify individuals even from different angles or varying qualities of images. 

AI has emerged as a game-changer in law enforcement, offering immense potential in transforming suspect identification methods. One notable player in this arena is Veritone, with its ethical AI-powered solutions that have harnessed the capabilities to enhance suspect identification processes.

The Power of AI in Suspect Identification

AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data with speed and precision has elevated the accuracy and efficiency of identifying suspects. Solutions like Veritone’s AI-powered tools streamline the process, accelerating case resolutions through advanced algorithms that match booking photos to evidence. Facial recognition technology, a cornerstone of AI, outperforms human capabilities, enhancing investigations by swiftly pinpointing potential matches in extensive databases.

While AI holds immense potential, ethical considerations remain crucial. Responsible AI use, coupled with a harmonious integration of AI and traditional techniques, paves the way for a future where suspect identification becomes more accurate, efficient, and just.

Introducing Veritone IDentify

When it comes to AI-based suspect identification, Veritone IDentify stands as a strong asset. Working on the cutting-edge AI platform, aiWARE, Veritone IDentify gives LEAs the capabilities to streamline investigative workflows and identify suspects faster than ever before. Used by thousands of law enforcement personnel daily, this tool aids investigations while securing personally identifiable information (PID).

Veritone has introduced a suite of AI-powered solutions designed to streamline and enhance suspect identification efforts. One of these solutions, Veritone IDentify, has garnered attention for its ability to accelerate case resolutions. By leveraging AI, IDentify streamlines the process of matching booking photos to case evidence, significantly reducing the time and effort required for investigators.

Veritone IDentify: Streamlining Suspect Identification

Veritone IDentify utilizes its AI-driven algorithms to compare perpetrators in video and photographic evidence against known offenders in an agency’s booking database. It then refines this investigation by filtering matches based on vital identifiers like age, gender, hair color, etc. Furthermore, it helps law enforcement to prepare virtual line-ups, share suspect lists, consolidate information, and organize evidence systematically.

Unlike other AI-powered facial recognition solutions that use faces off the internet or from nationwide databases such as the US Passport Agency or the DMV, Veritone IDentify only sources data from a known arrest records database.

Veritone IDentify stands out for its ability to centralize and make accessible a database of booking photos and evidence, resulting in quicker and more efficient suspect identification. Traditional methods often require investigators to manually sift through a plethora of images, consuming valuable time. With IDentify, AI algorithms swiftly analyze data and produce potential matches, enabling investigators to focus their efforts more effectively.

Veritone AI-Powered Facial Recognition: Cutting-edge Image Analysis

One of the most groundbreaking applications of AI technology in suspect identification is facial recognition, as well as head detection and HLO detection, which are more ethical methods than facial recognition alone. Veritone’s AI-powered biometric recognition technology has demonstrated remarkable accuracy, surpassing human capabilities in analyzing vast datasets and identifying potential matches. This has proven invaluable in cases where time is of the essence and traditional methods might fall short.

Real-Life Applications and Success Stories

Real-life examples underscore the effectiveness of AI-powered suspect identification. Law enforcement agencies have reported notable successes in locating and apprehending suspects using AI tools. Rapid identification of persons of interest and cross-referencing against databases have become more efficient, enabling law enforcement to make quicker decisions and allocate resources more effectively.

In a recent case, the Anaheim Police Department (APD) effectively used Veritone IDentify to catch an alleged child abuser. Senior office specialist at the APD, Cynthia Espinoza, ran a TV snapshot of the suspect’s sketch through Veritone IDentify. The AI-powered program compared the sketch to the APD’s records and BOLO alerts, generating roughly 200 potential matches from previous arrestees. 

Despite initial doubts about using the software with a sketch, Espinoza’s initiative led to the Arcadia PD detective identifying and arresting the suspect within a day. 

Thanks to Veritone IDentify, the investigative process was dramatically reduced from weeks to hours. The software’s unprecedented speed and accuracy not only ensured swift justice but affirmed its value in law enforcement. This success story has inspired a number of US LEAs to adopt Veritone IDentify, ushering in a new era of AI-driven criminal investigations.

Advancements in Tracking and Redaction with AI

AI also extends its influence to tracking and redaction. Veritone’s AI-driven Tracker efficiently locates persons of interest by analyzing complex data patterns, saving valuable time for investigators. Redaction, vital for privacy compliance, becomes automated and meticulous, ensuring sensitive information is safeguarded. 

Veritone Tracker: Efficiently Locating Persons of Interest

Veritone Tracker utilizes AI to analyze large volumes of data and track persons of interest efficiently. This technology aids law enforcement in understanding suspect patterns, movement, and connections, assisting them in making informed decisions during ongoing investigations. By automating data analysis, Tracker frees up valuable investigator time that can be dedicated to strategic planning and case management.

Veritone Redact: Safeguarding Sensitive Information

The importance of safeguarding sensitive information cannot be understated in the realm of law enforcement. Veritone Redact, an AI-powered redaction solution, addresses this need by automating the process of blurring or masking identifiable information in videos and images. This not only protects individuals’ privacy but also ensures that law enforcement agencies can share relevant information while complying with privacy regulations.

The Ethical Considerations of AI-powered Suspect Identification

While the benefits of AI in suspect identification are substantial, it’s essential to navigate the ethical considerations surrounding privacy and security. Striking a balance between utilizing advanced technology for law enforcement purposes and safeguarding individuals’ rights is of paramount importance. This involves creating a legal and ethical framework that guides the deployment and use of AI-powered tools.

Overcoming Bias in AI Algorithms for Suspect Identification

The challenges of AI-generated bias in suspect identification highlight the importance of responsible development. AI algorithms can inadvertently perpetuate biases present in training data, leading to discriminatory outcomes. To address this concern, efforts must be made to minimize bias in AI-powered tools through rigorous testing, ongoing monitoring, and the implementation of corrective measures.

Veritone’s Commitment to Ethical AI Development

Veritone acknowledges the ethical responsibilities associated with AI development and deployment. The company emphasizes a commitment to ethical AI practices, including bias mitigation, transparency in algorithm design, and collaboration with experts to ensure the responsible use of AI technology in law enforcement.

Looking Forward: The Future of Suspect Identification with AI

As AI technology continues to evolve, the potential for further advancements in suspect identification is immense. The integration of AI with existing traditional methods promises to create a synergy that enhances law enforcement capabilities. The ongoing development of algorithms, coupled with the refinement of AI-driven tools, will likely lead to even greater accuracy, efficiency, and efficacy in suspect identification.

Enhancing and Complementing Traditional Techniques

AI technology is not intended to replace traditional methods; rather, it complements and enhances them. The collaboration between human investigators and AI-powered tools can lead to more informed decisions, reduced workload, and faster case resolutions. This synergy can fundamentally reshape the landscape of criminal investigations, benefiting both LEAs and the communities they serve.

The Potential for Global Revolution

The global implications of AI-powered suspect identification are substantial. Countries around the world can leverage AI technology to overcome common challenges faced in criminal investigations. The scalability of AI-powered solutions makes them adaptable to various law enforcement systems, enabling a more efficient and standardized approach to suspect identification on a global scale.

Final Thoughts

As crime continues to evolve in complexity and scale, tools like Veritone IDentify become increasingly beneficial for LEAs. The use of AI-powered suspect identification not only accelerates the resolution of criminal cases but also empowers law enforcement agencies to balance resource allocation effectively.

However, it’s pertinent to note that while these advancements bear significant potential, they must always be coupled with ethical considerations. Effective and responsible use of AI tools, stringent privacy protections, and careful regulation will be crucial to ensuring that the potential of AI in crime prevention and suspect identification is fully realized, without compromising individual liberties and societal expectations.

The evolution of suspect identification methods has seen the rise of AI technology as a powerful ally in law enforcement efforts. With Veritone’s suite of AI-powered solutions, the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of suspect identification have been significantly enhanced. As AI technology continues to advance, it holds the promise of revolutionizing the field of criminal investigations, ensuring a safer and more just society while upholding ethical standards and privacy considerations.

To learn more about Veritone IDentify and other AI solutions for public safety, reach out to a team member today.