Skip to content
Main menu hidden.
Published: 2021-01-27

Law, ethics and AI in focus at digital forensic conference

NEWS Researchers at Umeå University contribute to new knowledge about how digital crime can be combated by digital forensics and artificial intelligence, and what ethical challenges exist and can appear by the use of AI in digital forensic. An international conference is being arranged on 28-29 January.

Text: Mikael Hansson

Although not necessarily (and not everywhere in the same way) what is ethical is legal, and vice-versa, ethics and law are at the hearth of human societies since their dawn, and their relations have been studied for centuries. This is not the case for the relations between ethics and more recent disciplines like Digital Forensics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), where the ethical question has been necessarily raised much more recently. Despite their short history, "Ethics in AI" and "Ethics in digital forensics" are emerging as two among the biggest issues of this millenium.

The technologies that drive AI and digital forensics are almost the same all over the world, but law changes from country to country, and not only different cultures follow different ethical principles, but also different individuals belonging to the same cultural group do. When AI is exploited in the domains of digital forensics and law, their interplay, along with the interplay with specific cultural aspects, makes the ethical question extremely delicate and complex, and for this reason extremely urgent, to address.

"The use of AI in digital forensic has made significant impacts on how digital forensic investigators can approach a given crime, e.g. when processing bigger amount of data faster than ever before. But the same AI-based tools that are used by the digital forensic investigators can create social problems, e.g. bias on the decisions of digital forensic investigators.  In this conference, we aim to start the discussions on how to promote the responsible use of AI in digital forensic by considering ethical principles, e.g. the EU Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI," says Juan Carlos Nieves, Associate Professor, Umeå University.

The DigForASP COST Action (Digital forensics: evidence analysis via intelligent systems and practices, CA17124, launched on 10th September 2018 for 4 years), thanks to its strongly interdisciplinary nature, is a perfect framework for AI, digital forensics, law and ethics.

In this two days event, judges, lawyers, experts of digital forensics, of AI, and of data privacy will share their point of view on the ethical threats that the adoption of intelligent automated techniques may bring to their profession on the one hand, and how to mitigate them and turn them into opportunities, on the other.

Among the speakers are Virginia Dignum, Professor of Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University, and Vicenç Torra, WASP professor on AI at Umeå University.

The conference is organized by the DigForASP COST Action members Juan Carlos Nieves, Umeå University, and Viviana Mascardi, University of Genoa.

List of speakers

The list of speakers also include:
Carles Sierra, Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA), Spain
Amedeo Santosuosso, Interdepartmental Research Center European Centre for Law, Science and NewTechnologies (ECLT), University of Pavia, Italy
Stefania Costantini, University of L’Aquila, Italy
Francesca Alessandra Lisi, University of Bari, Italy
David Billard, University of Applied Sciences in Geneva, Switzerland
Mattia Epifani, Reality Net System Solution, Italy
Andrea Stanchi, the Stanchi Studio Legale firm, Italy
Hugh Lawson-Tancred, Birkbeck University, UK

Download the DigForEthics brochure.


Juan Carlos Nieves
Associate professor at Department of Computing Science
Email: juan.carlos.nieves@umu.se
Phone: +46 90 786 61 25