How Artificial Intelligence empowers digital forensics.

May 06, 2024

Approaching ubiquitous societal status, Artificial Intelligence (AI)  powers and potential are attached to more and more everyday technology and processes. But how can AI help today’s digital forensic investigations? The answer is in the search, or rather, powerful automated searches that can identify key evidence and produce deeper analysis while saving precious time.

As more personal and corporate technologies adopt AI capabilities, AI also will play a factor in more crimes and incidents that require investigation. Leveraging the powers of AI to close subsequent investigations will be critical for investigations run by law enforcement, government agencies, corporations, enterprises, and service providers.

Artificial Intelligence uses in forensic investigations

For years, AI has been cheered and feared for its potential to exceed human capabilities for processing information and learning along the way. AI remains a broadly used descriptor among the general public that can, from an investigative point of view, be described as an automated tag team of Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These combined capabilities identify patterns, sort out anomalies, and link connections to help investigations uncover evidence and insights that might otherwise be missed.

In terms of digital computer forensic, mobile forensic and cloud forensic investigations, AI excels in sifting through extensive amounts of evidence, to recognize and identify relevant data in automated searches of images and videos, language and audio files. Some of its key applications include:

Benefits of AI-powered investigation techniques

AI’s ability to navigate large volumes of data can also enhance analysis and provide better insight into that data. AI’s analytic powers lie in identifying not only previously mentioned patterns, anomalies, and trends, but also subtle correlations and nuanced irregularities that traditional manual analysis could overlook.

AI’s automation and learning streamlines time-consuming tasks such as data collection, analysis, and report generation, reducing the time investigators must devote to search tasks. By using AI to perform repetitive and mundane processes, investigators can dedicate more time to critical thinking and  the problem-solving aspects of each case. More time can be devoted to higher-value “big-picture” tasks such as hypothesis generation, decision-making, and strategy development.

Streamlined search and analytic processes close investigations faster, reducing backlogs and budgets. The automated capabilities of AI can help investigative teams offset staffing challenges during shortages of trained professionals or restrictions in budget and resources.

Read: What is neural networks? →

Incorporating AI into your digital forensic investigations

As the challenges of discovering and analyzing evidence become more complex, so will the investigation tools needed to identify evidence and keep pace with caseloads. Leveraging AI capabilities will be imperative for law enforcement, government agencies, enterprises, and service providers to stay ahead of the curve with their approach to digital forensic investigations and the tools they use for optimum results.

Image categorization capabilities in Oxygen Forensic® Detective, Oxygen Remote Explorer, and Oxygen Analytic Center use AI automation to detect and categorize images and text from photos and find similar data in extracted files, saving time and resources by eliminating irrelevant images and focusing on key evidence.

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