Axon (www.axon.com) has announced the launch of Redaction Assistant, the first advanced artificial intelligence (AI) powered tool to be offered to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors through the Axon network. Redaction Assistant is a productivity tool built to increase efficiency for agencies who currently spend up to eight hours manually redacting each hour of body camera video footage. Redaction Assistant is available now to agencies in the United States, UK and Canada as a software add-on and is included automatically for U.S. agencies on Axon's Officer Safety Plan (OSP) 7+.

“I'm excited to see our first advanced AI-powered product come to life," says Moji Solgi, Axon VP of AI and machine learning. "We've put a huge focus on developing a technology that will both increase efficiency for our public safety customers and at the same time increase transparency for the public.”

Redaction Assistant is now included in Axon's Redaction Studio, which debuted in 2017. It is Axon's first advanced redaction product to be powered by AI. Currently, when redacting video footage, users are manually drawing boxes around objects frame-by-frame. With Redaction Assistant, the AI detects a license plate, face or screen and automatically draws a box around it so the user can then confirm whether it is an object that needs to be redacted. The workflow is streamlined so the video is redacted and ready to share with the public much more quickly.

The face detection tool detects that there is a human face in the frame and redacts it—it does not identify the individual to whom the face belongs, neither does it recognize their race, age, or gender, Axon says. The technology is similar to what is found in almost all cellphone cameras where objects of interest, such as faces, are detected to improve the lighting conditions of the captured image.

The City of Kent Law Department is one of several agencies that began partnering with Axon in the first quarter of 2019 to trial Redaction Assistant. In the first three weeks of using Redaction Assistant, the department found that their video redaction workload decreased by 81%.

“I no longer believe I need an additional attorney to help with the workload increase as I can hire and train a support staff person to handle the majority of work associated with the footage,” says

Tami A. Perdue, chief prosecutor for the City of Kent. “This tool has completely changed my staffing recommendations, and consequently, will save our city a significant amount of money. I am very impressed with the product."

The Axon AI team engaged with the AI & Policing Technology Ethics Board on Redaction Assistant and will continue to collaborate with them on future development of AI technologies. The mission of this independent board is to provide expert guidance to Axon on the development of its AI products and services, paying particular attention to its impact on communities.

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