Predpol – The real minority report

Predpol - The real minority report

4 May 2018
automatisation digitaldisruption predictive security
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Those of you who have seen Minority Report have an idea of what predictive policing might look like.

If you missed the movie, don’t worry, we’re going to explain. Predictive policing software is based on an algorithm that uses statistics and probabilities to build a retrospective crime map which is then converted into a prospective map to identify the places where crimes are most likely to be committed.

You don’t need future-predicting mutants hidden away in the back room of the police station, simply AI software that has been force fed Big Data and machine learning.

Data is the cornerstone of the process, but contrary to what you might think, more is not necessarily better.

The algorithm doesn’t just use the police station’s records of offences and complaints, it also uses information about specific individuals’ prison records and social backgrounds.

As you have probably guessed, this process gives rise to many questions.

Are we watching the emergence of a panopticon surveillance system like the one for prisons imagined by Bentham but covering the entire community, using all the digital tools at our disposal?

As Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon come under fire for using our online personal data, Big Brother might be nearer than we think.

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