Another Brilliant Idea! ‘Predictive Policing’

Image result for images of marty the robot

Maybe Marty the Supermarket Robot could moonlight as a crimestopper.

If police were to arrest and jail you because some fortune-teller peered into a jar of Miracle Whip and announced that you were about to commit a crime, you would surely feel yourself ill-used.

But if a robot using “Artificial Intelligence” predicts it, well, that’s different ( It’s scientific!

See, they want to use “pre-crime algorithms” to know who’s gonna be bad so that they can bust him before he does it. Never mind the critics out there, most of whom are described as scientists, who call the whole thing “useless” and warn that it might lead to “mass incarceration” of people who haven’t yet committed the crimes they were jailed for.

The critics point to statistics that show that really very few people go out and commit a new crime while awaiting trial for an earlier offense. Another arrest–well, it looks bad. It might make it really hard to get bail. Judges don’t like to grant bail to persons who have just been busted for yet another crime. You can see their point.

Meanwhile, listen carefully… There is no such thing as “Artificial Intelligence.” There is only whatever human intelligence, or lack thereof, that goes into programming the computer. Algorithms are human creations–and therefore eminently fallible.

Would it help if they programmed the robot to say “I’m sorry”?

(Ooh, ooh, I know! Why not just lock up everybody! Robots could guard them and keep them from escaping. Good idea?)

4 comments on “Another Brilliant Idea! ‘Predictive Policing’

  1. And you just know some of the pre-emptive arrests would be for “hate” “crimes” — as “detected” by the same algorithms that now get conservatives banned from social media and even Amazon’s book inventory.

    I think I just set a record for numbers of scare quotes in one sentence. 🙂

  2. In this final season of “Elementary,” Holmes & Watson are trying to stop a billionaire social media owner from having people murdered who the algorithms have determined are about to commit murderous crimes. Seems like there are people who are really serious about this idea. In the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” the same idea was used except it was psychics who determined who should be killed before the crime was committed.

  3. I remember reading science fiction stories about just such a program back in the 1950s. Of course, then it was seen as a danger rather than as a Social-Justice Good Thing.

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