CSI Cyber premiers in the USA this week
Boyhood star and newly minted Oscar winner Patricia Arquette is about to take on a very different kind of role — as the lead of CBS’ newest procedural. The actress is starring in “CSI: Cyber” (premiering 10 p.m. Wednesday) as special agent Avery Ryan, head of the FBI’s cyber crime division. The latest spinoff of the long-running franchise focuses on the intersection of technology and human behavior, and is inspired by the work of Irish cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken.
Aiken — who is director of the RCSI Cyber Psychology Research Centre in Dublin — first caught the attention of CBS while presenting at a White House forum to tackle human trafficking in 2013. But she’s been studying cyberpsychology for about 12 years.
After earning a psychology degree, she became fascinated with the field of artificial intelligence in the late 1990s, which led her to pursue a Ph.D. in forensic cyberpsychology.
While she doesn’t work directly for law enforcement like her on-screen persona, Aiken’s expertise as an academic has seen her advise crime-fighting organizations like INTERPOL, London’s Metropolitan Police and the LAPD on issues like cyber security, cyber stalking and virtual behavioral profiling.
It’s come to a point that it would be hard to conceptualize a crime that didn’t have some cyber aspect,” she says.
As a producer on “CSI: Cyber,” Aiken is involved in all stages of the writing process, from initial brainstorming to revisions to the final script. Plots are inspired by contemporary criminal activity, with writers imagining future evolutions of past publicized cases.