Blue Line

Q&A: Artificial intelligence and digital forensics

May 1, 2024  By Brittani Schroeder

Photo credit: Sikov / Adobe Stock

Recently, editor Brittani Schroeder spoke with Oren Yosifon, Vice President of Product, SaaS Platform at Cellebrite, about the intersection of artificial intelligence and digital forensics. As AI continues to evolve, its impact on the criminal world is significant.

Q: Can you explain how criminals leverage AI?

On one hand, AI is a beacon of innovation, yet it also opens doors for criminals to misuse the technology. We’ve seen bad actors use AI to create deepfakes, automate phishing attacks and orchestrate complex fraud schemes. The scale and sophistication at which criminals can leverage AI is unprecedented.

They are generating convincing synthetic media to manipulate public opinion or extort people. The criminals are creating full text exchanges and fake conversations that are incredibly convincing. They play off people’s emotions, which is an old trick, yet they have AI to help them work multiple schemes at once. As AI becomes more accessible, the barrier for criminals to utilize these tools lowers.

Q: What can be done to mitigate these risks?

The answer lies in preemptive and adaptive strategies. Education is our first line of defence—arming the public and law enforcement with knowledge about AI’s capabilities and potential red flags. On the legislative front, we need agile frameworks that can quickly adapt to the pace of technological change to regulate the use of AI effectively. Current AI may be able to pinpoint other AI-generated content, yet this will evolve, too. Fake-detection models are the same models that are used to make AI generation models even better, through a technique called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs).


We need to fight fire with fire, or rather, AI with AI and set our focus on detecting the telltale signs for the usage of AI to generate illicit, malicious and fraudulent content. Digital forensic experts are developing AI-driven tools that can detect manipulation in digital evidence, trace the digital footprints of AI-assisted crimes and ultimately, pull the curtain back on the illusion created by these ‘sophisticated criminals.’

Q: How can law enforcement leverage AI to better combat these ‘sophisticated criminals’?

Law enforcement can harness AI to sift through vast amounts of data to identify patterns and anomalies that would be invisible or time-consuming for human eyes. For example, AI can analyze communication patterns to pinpoint grooming behaviours in exploitation cases or flag financial transactions that suggest money laundering.

Moreover, AI can act as a force multiplier. It can take over repetitive tasks, freeing up human officers to engage in complex, nuanced aspects of investigations. The well-established DIKW Pyramid[1] (Data Information Knowledge Wisdom) entails that putting data into context constitutes information. And when you have actionable, meaningful information, it then becomes knowledge. The recent advances in AI help transform data into knowledge, allowing humans to spend more time on leveraging their wisdom: experience, judgement and analysis. Freeing human investigators to apply their wisdom rather than sift through data puts us ahead of the game. So, AI in law enforcement is not about replacing human intuition but augmenting it with computational precision and efficiency.

Ultimately, the integration of AI in law enforcement is not a distant future; it’s already here. Our task now is to evolve these tools, ensure their ethical use and continue to innovate to stay a step ahead. The end goal? To accelerate justice while upholding the principles of a fair and just society. As AI reshapes our world, the race is on to ensure it remains a tool for good rather than a weapon of illicit activities. It’s a race we cannot afford to lose, and with the right minds and tools at our disposal, we can win it.

Print this page


Stories continue below