Law enforcement has long used physical evidence, such as fingerprints, to help solve crimes. Now, computer algorithms can help assess whether such evidence might be associated with a specific person—a process known as forensic attribution.
Federal agencies mainly use 3 types of forensic algorithms:
Face recognition compares a photo from a criminal investigation to an existing photo database
Probabilistic genotyping helps determine the likelihood that a person’s DNA may have contributed to DNA collected as evidence
Latent print analysis compares prints to a known database and provides a list of potential candidates for an expert to review