How AI can help detect victims of domestic violence in the future

Researchers at George Mason University in Virginia received a $4.85 million gift to help continue their research into detecting injuries caused by domestic violence, which will now include the use of artificial intelligence.

Actress Angelina Jolie examines wounds using alternating light with George Mason University professor Katherine Schiffed. The process will now include a new AI tool thanks to an anonymous gift. (Courtesy of George Mason University)

Researchers at George Mason University in Virginia received a $4.85 million gift to help continue their research into detecting injuries caused by domestic violence, which will now include the use of artificial intelligence.

The new tool will work in conjunction with technology — pioneered by Professor Catherine Scaffoid in the School of Nursing — that uses alternative light sources to locate wounds that a nurse or doctor can see on different skin colors and races. Can’t see or judge people accurately.

The anonymous donation will allow researchers to build new AI software that can help identify traumatic injuries with a database of different skin tones. Associate Professor David Lattanzi told WTOP that the tool needs a large enough database to identify all skin tones “accurately and equally”.

“It leads to better downstream outcomes and measurably better outcomes in terms of care for these victims and their outcomes in the criminal justice system,” Latanzi said.

According to a statement from the university, one in three women worldwide experience some form of violence, and more than 10 million women and men in the United States experience some form of interpersonal violence each year. Face it. With the two projects working together, researchers hope the new tool can help identify victims of domestic violence.

“Enlarging the data set, the way we can now, will allow us to create an AI that is fairer and more applicable to a wider segment of the population,” Lattanzi said.

There are concerns over the use of AI, its rapid implementation and its reliability. Others are concerned about the creation of AI-powered products and how it could lead to prejudice and discrimination against a segment of the population.

Professor Janusz Wojtosiak told WTOP that this is why the donation is so important. This has given researchers enough money to load their prototypes with as much imaging data as possible. It also gives them time to check it out and eliminate any biases found in their research. He added that testing AI in the medical field is an ongoing process, but the aim is not to misuse the technology.

“The problem is so complex that we really need to push the boundaries of existing science, in image recognition, in AI, in data integration and many other things,” Wojtusiak said. “Those things don’t really exist, we really need to create something new to solve the problem.”

Wojtusiak said the technology will primarily be used by medical professionals, forensic scientists and law enforcement officials. He added that AI would be useful to help in cases where other types of help are not available to victims, especially those who live far from good hospitals where forensic teams lack more sophisticated equipment. are

Lattanzi said he hopes to have a prototype in a year, with the possibility that the technology will be available for use in a few years. However, Wojtusiak stressed the importance of getting feedback during trials to make sure the AI ​​is working properly and working to help “real victims of violence.”

“This gift will allow us to build our data collection into truly, truly equitable and powerful models that help other people,” said Lattanzi. “But it will also help us develop and translate this technology into a package that will be useful to others.”

Dean Melissa Perry said in a statement that the funding is the largest gift to support research conducted in the university’s College of Public Health.

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