Shark Tank Open Grant Brings Artificial Intelligence Course to Criminal Justice

Dr. Katie Richardson Jens, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, and two colleagues from the Department of Criminal Justice at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) Drs. Lindsey Vigesaa and Mary Clifford, were awarded a Minnesota State Shark Tank Open grant of $23,272 for their project: “Interdisciplinary Applications of Artificial Intelligence Emphasizing Public Safety: A Multi Campus Collaboration to Develop and Offer a Minnesota State System Course on Applications of Artificial Intelligence Across the Criminal Justice System.” The project’s goal is to develop and deliver a course on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Criminal Justice at Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Cloud State University that could eventually be used across the Minnesota State university system. This course will initially be offered as a hyflex course for both MSUM and SCSU students taught by Drs. Richardson Jens, Vigesaa and Clifford during Spring semester, 2022. Trey Tinnell, a nationally renowned AI education leader from IBM Watson, will provide consultation. Students will learn about the various uses of AI in the Criminal Justice System, including its use in policing, corrections and the court system. They will also learn how to apply AI by participating in various exercises like using facial recognition data, creating programs to predict crime hot spots, and using natural language processing to review and summarize large amounts of data. Lastly, students will learn how crucial social sciences are to help regulate the growing AI industry.