Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, commissioned RAND Europe to carry out an Artificial intelligence (AI) research study to provide an overview of the main opportunities, challenges and requirements for the adoption of AI-based capabilities in border management.
AI offers several opportunities to the European Border and Coast Guard, including increased efficiency and improving the ability of border security agencies to adapt to a fast-paced geopolitical and security environment. However, various technological and non-technological barriers might influence how AI materializes in the performance of border security functions.
Some of the analyzed technologies included automated border control, object recognition to detect suspicious vehicles or cargo and the use of geospatial data analytics for operational awareness and threat detection.
The findings from the study have now been made public, and Frontex aims to use the data gleaned to shape the future landscape of AI-based capabilities for Integrated Border Management, including AI-related research and innovation projects.
The study identified a wide range of current and potential future uses of AI in relation to five key border security functions, namely: situation awareness and assessment; information management; communication; detection, identification and authentication; and training and exercise.
According to the report, “AI is generally believed to bring at least an incremental improvement to the existing ways in which border security functions are conducted”. This includes ‘front-end’ capabilities that end users directly utilize, such as surveillance systems, as well as ‘back-end’ capabilities that enable border security functions, like automated machine learning.
Potential barriers to AI adoption include knowledge and skills gaps, organizational and cultural issues, and a current lack of conclusive evidence from actual real-life scenarios.