Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

US Justice Dept names first AI officer as new technology challenges law enforcement


  • The U.S. Justice Department has named its first official focused on artificial intelligence, Jonathan Mayer, to help navigate the impacts of AI on federal law enforcement.
  • Mayer will advise on integrating AI into investigations and prosecutions, as well as lead a board of officials to evaluate the ethics and efficacy of AI systems.

In a move to stay ahead of rapidly evolving technology, the U.S. Justice Department has appointed Jonathan Mayer, a technology and law professor from Princeton University, as its first chief science and technology adviser and chief AI officer. Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized the importance of keeping pace with emerging technologies to uphold the rule of law and protect the country’s safety and civil rights. Mayer will provide guidance on responsible AI integration and recruit more technological experts to the department.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco highlighted the department’s current use of AI in areas like tracing illegal drug sources, analyzing FBI tips, and organizing evidence from investigations. While AI has proven beneficial in detecting and disrupting criminal activities, there are concerns about potential biases, election tampering, and cyber threats. To address these challenges, Mayer will lead a board of law enforcement and civil rights officials to evaluate the ethics and efficacy of AI systems within the department.

Having previously served as technology adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris and worked for the Federal Communications Commission, Mayer brings a wealth of experience to his new role. With the rapid advancement of AI technology, his appointment signifies the Justice Department’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve in law enforcement practices.