Artificial intelligence (AI) is the technology of the future that will radically transform the world we live in. AI and the growing role of private security, tech and consultancy companies, are reshaping policing and how we ensure social order and security, enforce law, and prevent and investigate crime. However, this ongoing radical transformation of our world is little understood. To change that, AGOPOL brings together a team of 15 established scholars and young talented researchers from cultural and area studies, anthropology, sociology, history, literature, and law and based in 9 countries, to develop a ground-breaking comparative cultural analysis of policing as a global digitized and hybrid project. Based on ethnographic research in Norway, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa, we will leverage comparative cross-cultural analysis and generate a novel understanding of cultures of policing – both within and beyond the police. We will analyse the impact of algorithmic governance on society and those policed – from the unintended consequences, algorithmic injustices, and harms related to these new modes of policing, to their impact on legitimacy and societal trust. Our analysis will deal with issues such as the underlying cultural conditions shaping the use of AI technologies in policing; the transformation of institutional cultures stemming from the technological change; the transformation of knowledge cultures with the increasing dominance of datafied ‘truth’; the interaction of algorithmic governance and cultures of policing; and, perhaps most importantly, the global cultural transformation as an effect of the intertwined processes of datafication, securitization, and commodification of security. AGOPOL will result in a number of scholarly publications (3 special journal issues, 21 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 books, 16 book chapters) and events (3 international workshops, 3 international conferences), as well as a website and a series of short movies.
Project leader: Christin Thea Wathne
Institution: Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet AFI