Prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges call it "the CSI effect," after the crime-scene shows that are among the hottest attractions on television. The shows —CSI and CSI: Miami, in particular — feature high-tech labs and glib and gorgeous techies. By shining a glamorous light on a gory profession, the programs also have helped to draw more students into forensic studies.So when will computer science become sexy? Probably never... that's why I always say I'm in artificial intelligence rather than be more generic; AI usually gets a more curious reaction than plain old boring CS.
But the programs also foster what analysts say is the mistaken notion that criminal science is fast and infallible and always gets its man. That's affecting the way lawyers prepare their cases, as well as the expectations that police and the public place on real crime labs. Real crime-scene investigators say that because of the programs, people often have unrealistic ideas of what criminal science can deliver.
If forensic scientists think their field is misunderstood, just imagine how I feel. Not only is every media depiction of computers or software almost total fantasy, but artificial intelligence may be the most incomprehensible -- and therefore magical -- science/art known to man.