Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Poly join forces to fight Artificial Intelligence crime

LAKELAND, Fla., June 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced the creation of a new law enforcement unit focused on cybercrime related to artificial intelligence (AI). The new AI investigative unit was developed in partnership with Florida Polytechnic University, which will provide technical and research support.

“Modern law enforcement needs to stay ahead of the technological curve when it comes to preventing, fighting, and solving crime. With the incredible upside potential benefits of artificial intelligence, there is a downside: criminals will use the technology to commit crime,” said Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff. “We are proud to partner with Florida Polytechnic University to benefit from their renowned expertise and human talent to help fight crime.”

Some goals of the new AI investigative unit include:

  • Obtain and maintain cutting-edge training and tools to help identify AI-related crime and criminals.
  • Assist in criminal investigations involving AI, including cyber harassment, identity theft, extortion, hate crimes, and other related cybercrimes.
  • Identify emerging AI technologies and leverage and/or combat the misuse of these technologies.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of AI trends, techniques, tactics, and procedures of threat actors using AI, including extortion or blackmail.
  • Identify and analyze deepfake and AI-altered images/video/audio production technologies and methodologies used to mislead the public.

As part of the partnership, Florida Poly will help develop and assist with the operational success of the unit, providing technical and research support.

Florida Poly student interns will gain one-of-a-kind, real-world experience working and developing skills in the AI field with law enforcement professionals. The interns will provide advanced technology solutions to current PCSO systems.

The president of Florida Poly, Dr. Randy Avent, said the University is exploring curriculum and degree opportunities related to AI fields of study. He underscored the collaboration’s importance.

“This working partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a natural fit for our mission to serve students and industry through excellence in education, discovery, and application of engineering and applied sciences,” Avent said. “We strive to find real-life applications to bring value to our students’ education and our community. This is one more way we are leaders in building Florida’s technology-based economy.”

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SOURCE Florida Polytechnic University

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