The Spotlight: Can AI help curb Seattle's gun violence epidemic
Between 2019 and 2023, Seattle has seen a 120% increase in shootings. The Spotlight examines whether artificial intelligence can help curb the city's epidemic of gun violence. Mayor Bruce Harrell thinks so. He's trying for a second time to get budget approval from the city council to mount acoustic gunshot detectors around Seattle. The tech is called ShotSpotter. It's being used in more than 150 cities nationwide but not here even though the CEO of the company that makes it, SoundThinking, lives in the Central District. Ralph Clark says the sensors alert officers to the exact location of the gunfire within 45 seconds of detecting the shots. "In getting officers to the scene very quickly, they are more apt to save lives and recover physical forensic evidence," said Clark. However, ShotSpotter is not without critics like the ACLU that claims it endangers privacy.