The use of artificial intelligence in border control has spurred discussion about ETIAS and the role AI will play in their processes: what screening technologies are used when entering Europe? Is it legal for European authorities to utilise face recognition systems? What are the moral limits of international security?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more prevalent in everyday life. Most consumers appreciate email filters that keep junk out of their inboxes or the shortest route predicted by an online map, both of which rely on AI.
Despite its extensive use in the Western world, artificial intelligence remains a source of contention, particularly when it comes to face recognition and tracking an individual’s activity.
While some appreciate AI’s capacity to provide a degree of security that humans alone cannot provide, others are concerned about robotics’ acquisition and use of personal data.
This essay will examine how artificial intelligence is being used to make European travel even safer, as well as how AI may be utilised responsibly to benefit citizens and tourists.
THE ETHICS OF AI: WHERE DOES THE EUROPEAN UNION STAND?
As previously stated, there has been significant resistance to the use of artificial intelligence in recent years due to privacy and transparency issues.
However, when utilised correctly and for lawful reasons, AI is incredibly valuable and is assisting society in making crucial improvements in sectors such as healthcare and law enforcement.
While adhering to its own standards for trustworthy AI established by the Commission in April 2019, the European Union has embraced machine intelligence as an unbeatable instrument in addressing the ongoing global concerns of terrorism, human and drug trafficking.
Some of the important ethical concerns addressed in the paper include:
- Technical robustness and safety
- Human agency and oversight
- Privacy and data protection
- Societal and environmental wellbeing
European citizens and tourists may be confident that AI will only be implemented if it passes these tough criteria.
USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO KEEP EUROPE SAFE
ETIAS, the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, which will be introduced in November 2023, exemplifies this approach to Artificial Intelligence in Europe.
Visa waiver programmes implemented by the United States and Europe have facilitated international travel and contributed to a significant rise in cross-border movement in recent years.
While the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world is exciting, it may also be dangerous. With third-country nationals able to cross the Schengen Area’s external borders with only a passport, it can be difficult to identify dangerous individuals and prevent their entry.
As a result, to supplement its visa liberalisation policy, the European Union has developed ETIAS, a travel authorization required by third-country nationals.
Visitors from qualified countries will be required to apply for ETIAS before entering the Schengen Area visa-free in the near future.
The technology will set up an ETIAS watchlist and cross-check and validate visitor information using large-scale IT databases. ETIAS will also employ smart boundaries to give an extra degree of protection.
INTERPOL: DETECTING CRIMINALS USING FACIAL RECOGNITION
Interpol, the worldwide police cooperation agency, has long utilised face recognition to detect offenders.
A number of high-profile examples have demonstrated its effectiveness. An internationally wanted murder suspect was apprehended in 2018 after an image of the individual was compared to records in Interpol’s facial recognition database.
While facial recognition for remote identification is currently used only in exceptional circumstances, the European Commission released a White Paper in February 2020 outlining a framework for more widespread use of trustworthy AI in the future.
Interpol will play a significant part in ETIAS. Third-country citizens who are wanted by foreign authorities in connection with criminal activities can be detected before they set foot on European land by running traveller details through their databases.
In the future, facial recognition technology could be expanded and used as a highly effective tool to prevent dangerous foreigners from entering the Schengen Area.
BIOMETRICS, SMART BORDERS AND MACHINE INTELLIGENCE
A biometric passport is required to fulfil the ETIAS visa waiver criteria. A biometric passport includes all of the biographical information included in a machine-readable document, as well as specific biometrics.
The Entry-Exit System (EES), a crucial component of ETIAS, will use this biometric data to deter irregular migration and safeguard European people.
EES will use biometrics to identify overstayers and combat identity fraud by registering the arrival and departure of third-country nationals.
THE FUTURE OF SMART BORDERS: AI AND LIE DETECTORS
Artificial intelligence is growing more advanced all the time, and new systems are continuously being developed.
Several businesses have been testing technologies that might possibly be adopted at European borders in recent years. AI border guards and the adoption of lie detectors are two such possibilities.
ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT LIE DETECTORS AT BORDERS
An American firm has been developing and testing robotic border guards equipped with lie detectors. AI border guards are more secure than human border agents because of their capacity to detect:
- Suspicious movement patterns
- Pick up on body language indicating deception
AI border guards can assist in apprehending people involved in organised crime such as human trafficking by detecting unusual movement, such as visiting the same country on multiple occasions with different children.
Another intriguing advancement is AI’s capacity to detect nonverbal communication that indicates deception.
AI technology has proven to be effective in detecting lies by using cues such as facial expressions and shifting back and forth, which humans may find difficult to detect.
There is obviously room for increasing usage of AI at Schengen Area outside borders, which would not only improve security but also cut waiting times: smart gates are often faster and more efficient than manual gates.
KEEPING TRAVEL DATA SAFE AND SECURE
ETIAS is handled by the agency eu-LISA, which is committed to keeping information secure.
Encrypting personal data using cutting-edge technology will safeguard it from cyber-attacks and identity theft.
In accordance with the EU’s principle of protecting the fundamental right to privacy, information collected by ETIAS systems will only be accessed when necessary by authorised personnel such as border authorities or police officers.
As a result, the future of European travel is inextricably connected to advances in artificial intelligence. It appears that, rather than jeopardising security, digitalisation will make Europe safer than ever for residents and visitors alike.