In a ceremony announcing the launch of the Center for Computational Criminology in Beersheva, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi revealed cooperative plans to fight cyber crime with cutting-edge technology.

The center, located at BGU’s Advanced Technologies Park, will develop advanced cyber, big data and artificial intelligence tools to fight cyber crime, which has risen exponentially in recent years as criminals and even rogue governments have capitalized on the anonymity of cyberspace to cloak their activities while reaping sizeable profits.

BGU researchers will work together with the Israel Police’s cyber investigators to develop new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for law enforcement.

“The last, most significant scientific breakthrough to change law enforcement was DNA testing,” said the head of the new center, Prof. Lior Rokach, chairman of BGU’s Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering, and a leading expert on artificial intelligence.

“Today, we are on the threshold of the next big breakthrough: analyzing big data to discover hidden patterns to predict and prevent crime. The AI revolution of the past few years will prove to be even more significant than DNA testing for law enforcement, providing them with unprecedented investigative tools and new sources of evidence.”

Alsheikh said the cooperation between the Israel Police’s Cyber Unit and BGU’s cybersecurity experts will improve the police’s enforcement and prevention capabilities.

“This cooperation will enable the police to bring technology to bear more effectively in enforcing the law and fighting crime, whether cybercriminals or traditional criminals, by turning a threat into an opportunity,” he said.