Can A Computer ‘Predict’ If You’ll Commit a Crime? Scientists Now Say Yes!
You might remember the 2002 Tom Cruise movie, "Minority Report," in which a futuristic team of psychics and computers would 'predict' criminals in the future, and they were tried and convicted before the crime even occurred. Creepy!
But is that really that far off in the future? According to a report at the bloombergview.com website, maybe NOT!
A team of scientists released a paper last month, claiming computers do a far better job than human judges in predicting whether somebody will commit a crime.
According to the report, University of Pennsylvania scientists and others have created programs that utilize a staggering array of data to predict if a person will commit a crime. Now, so far the program has only been applied to people who have previously been convicted of a serious felony offense. But could general crime and 'regular' people be that far behind.
In fact, in Fresno, CA, there's a program in place that rates citizens on levels of high, medium or low when it comes to the possibility they will commit a crime. The program, called 'Beware,' compiles and analyzes data from crime reports, web searches, property reports and social media. In other words, the more about yourself that you spray all over cyberspace, the better chance there is of predicting your behavior.
This theory is not that new, advertisers have for several years now, been tailoring emails and other digital offerings they 'think' you will like, based upon your purchase habits on retail websites.
But before you start thinking these crime prevention computers are a terrific idea, maybe give a look to that Tom Cruise movie. It might make you think twice about how good computers and other techniques are when it comes to predicting if you or somebody else is going to live a life of crime.