Rape statistics are appalling. This is largely because the top challenge of prosecuting sexual assault cases is the lack of evidence. But perhaps technology can solve this problem.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived on our smartphones and smart watches. One good use case for it is personal security, which includes all forms of sexual assault. But before I break down my thoughts, have a look at the following sad statistics about rape prosecution:
Of 310 reported rape cases, only 6 end up with convictions. It has also been established that most rape occurrences do not get reported to the police for reasons already outlined elsewhere.
How Artificial Intelligence can help solve rape cases
Permit me to work from what already exists to the unknown in building my case.
As an example, the Apple Watch Series 4 can detect if you fall by analysing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration. It will also call emergency services if you’re immobile for one minute. This is the kind of technology that can be applied to helping to solve cases that involve sexual assault.
Imagine having a smartphone or smart watch with sensors that can detect a sudden heightened sense of fear/anxiety in you. Couple that with a sensor that can detect similar changes in your voice patterns, as well as sudden violent movement of your body. Imagine it is programmed to start recording both audio and video from the instant it detects these anomalies.
To sweeten the deal, just like the Apple Watch, it can call emergency services and relate your location without your intervention. And it will also upload the recording to a server for later retrieval as evidence.
So, where an individual is under threat, artificial intelligence kicks in and comes to the rescue. With this, chances of a quick intervention by law enforcement are higher and there is evidence to back accusations up.
I doubt that I am the first to think about this. Perhaps it is being worked on already as I type this. One thing is certain: this kind of solution cannot arrive soon enough.
Technology is helping to make our lives easier and safer in many ways. This is one way I foresee that it will yet do so. Hopefully, the sexual assault statistics can improve significantly. Hopefully, this will not only bring justice to victims but also serve as deterrent to would-be offenders.