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April 08, 2024

Technology, forensics and legal breakthroughs are focus of ABA criminal justice spring institute

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2024 — Legal experts will explore the impact of artificial intelligence, advances in genealogy and other emerging technologies on the legal and business practice during the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s “2024 Forensic Science and Information Technology Institute,” April 11-12 in San Diego, California.

The meeting, focused on the theme, “Unlocking Justice: Navigating the Future of Law with Advances in Forensics, Technology and Artificial Intelligence,” includes presentations on AI-
generated deep fakes, the use of AI tools in prison surveillance and the ethical implications associated with the use of AI in genetic genealogy investigations.

Also, during the meeting, five criminal justice champions will be honored for their contributions to the legal profession at the Criminal Justice Section Spring Reception at 5:30 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, April 12.

Criminal Justice Section “2024 Forensic Science and Information Technology Institute”
Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section
Cosponsored by the ABA Judicial Division

Thursday-Friday, April 11-12

Bahia Resort Hotel
998 West Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, California

Program highlights include (all times are PDT):

“The Black Box: What is it & How Does it Work?” — Experts will explore the concept of opaque machine learning algorithms and their societal implications. Participants will gain an understanding of how these algorithms function internally, their potential biases and strategies for enhancing transparency and accountability in AI systems.
Thursday, 1-2:15 p.m.

“Criminal Use of AI- Deep Fakes/Misinformation: A Case Study” — The proliferation of deep fakes and misinformation as tools for nefarious actors has been increasing steadily and rapidly. Through a compelling case study, panelists will examine the implications of AI-generated content on security, trust and the dissemination of false narratives in the digital age – and how the criminal justice system is responding to such threats.
Thursday, 2:30-3:45 p.m.

“AI Tools, Corporate Vendors and the Dangers of Jail Surveillance: Investigating Securus and GTL” — What are the implications of the use of technologies within correctional facilities by these two companies on the privacy, security and civil liberties of incarcerated individuals and people who communicate with them? The session will explore the necessity of robust oversight and regulation to mitigate potential abuses of power and ensure the ethical use of AI-driven surveillance systems in carceral settings.
Friday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy (FIGG): Regulation, Judicial Oversight and the Use of AI” — Experts will explore the ethical implications and potential biases associated with the use of AI in genetic genealogy investigations and delve into the importance of balancing law enforcement objectives with privacy rights. They also will review models for regulation and judicial oversight to mitigate risks while ensuring accountability and effective results in FIGG applications.
Friday, 1-2:15 p.m.

“The NAS Report on Facial Recognition Technology” — Panelists will discuss the findings of the National Academies of Sciences report on facial recognition technology, which provides a comprehensive assessment of its capabilities, limitations and societal implications. The report emphasizes the need for improved transparency, accuracy and ethical considerations in the development and deployment of facial recognition systems and calls for regulatory frameworks, ongoing research and public engagement to address concerns surrounding privacy, bias and civil liberties in the use of this technology.
Friday, 2:30-3:45 p.m.

“CLEAN (Community Law Enforcement Accountability Network)” — Principals from the network will explain their plans to work together to create a public-facing database of law enforcement misconduct information, share information safely among stakeholders in a “federated space” and constructively reform and hold agencies accountable. CLEAN includes the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley Institute for Data Science, Stanford Journalism & Democracy Initiative, California Reporting Project (a coalition of 40 newsrooms), California Innocence Coalition, ACLU, NACDL, California Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Association of Public Defenders and impacted community groups.
Friday, 3:45-5 p.m.

The complete schedule can be viewed here.

This event is open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Shanda Ivory at [email protected].

The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.