Berlin wants to use Artificial Intelligence to fight corruption

The fight against corruption has taken a new turn with the emergence of artificial intelligence. Currently, IBM´s Watson is already monitoring payments for irregularities at the state administration office in the capital. The judiciary will use the information gathered to expand such big data analysis.

Berlin wants to use Artificial Intelligence to fight corruption

In Berlin, the administration will in the near future use Artificial intelligence to counteract corruption. A report of the Berliner Zeitung indicates that the state administration office has a system which began in 2017. The IBM’s AI system Watson monitors the payments and identifies irregularities. The project will now serve as a model for all Berlin authorities.

According to the “Chief Anti-Corruption Task Force” headed by Senior Attorney General Rüdiger Reiff, the system is very useful. For instance, it recognizes if an official repeatedly triggers payments that are just below the drawing limits. The system also recognizes permits that are issued too fast or unusual bookings such as those made after 8 pm or at weekends. Before the introduction of the system, corruption auditors could only recognize such incidents by chance.

The software used is specially programmed for various fraud scenarios. The Berliner Zeitung report shows that each indicator has a statistical score. If a process surpasses a certain score, it is set aside as suspicious. The inspector in charge can then follow up in detail the overall process and confirm if the alarm was triggered correctly. This also allows refining the system’s algorithms.

However, the state administration forgot to include Maja Smoltczyk, the state data protection officer in the test run. Legally, this is mandatory, but the officer is not aware of the project. Allegedly, the data protection officer of the State Administration office classified the procedure as safe. Currently, it is not clear if, for instance, the office has checked whether IBM safely secures the data.