Technology may be the key to predicting crime and allocating resources efficiently

Technology is changing our lives in some of the most significant ways.

And while it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that has been tested in eight US cities claims to be able to predict crime a week in advance, with a high degree of precision.

Developed by a University of Chicago professor, the model has been tested in Chicago and seven other US cities, boasting that it can predict future crimes with 80 to 90 percent accuracy.

Predict crime trends

The software processed statistics on crime in Chicago from 2014 to 2016, predicting the probability that certain crimes would be committed in the following weeks. The predictions concerned both the types of crimes that would be committed and the suburbs where they would occur.

The mode reportedly had similar results across cities, predicting crime 8 to 9 times out of ten within a geographic two-block radius.

The developers made the data and algorithm publicly available to increase scrutiny and transparency, because previous technology-driven crime predictors used in Chicago had been found to be racially biased.

While there is still some way to go, the developers believe the tool has a role to play in helping to develop high-level law enforcement and social policy, as well as supporting the allocation of funds and resources, rather than being a reactive tool for the police. .

The developers say the technology demonstrates “the importance of uncovering city-specific patterns for predicting reported crime, which can then generate new insight.” on the city’s neighbourhoods, allowing preliminary investigation and interrogation and also the opportunity to evaluate policing in new ways’.

The criminal justice system, like most other industries, has been exploring the role AI can play in improving outcomes for several years.

Australia without lawyers

Here in Australia, a ‘lawyer-less firm’ was launched in the Northern Territory in 2017 that uses software called Ailira to help clients with many problems related to estate planning and setting up other structures such as companies and partnerships.

Because there is no attorney involved, the firm says it can save clients a great deal of legal costs.

Government and Law Enforcement Use of Technology

Police and governments in Australia are already using AI facial recognition technology. In New South Wales, mobile high-definition cameras have been installed for the last three years. They are capable of catching drivers at night, in bad weather conditions and at speeds of up to 300 km/h.

In the immediate weeks after the cameras were deployed, concerns were raised that the footage would be reviewed by Artificial Intelligence, and that the automated system could lead to fines being issued to those who have done nothing wrong, in which case. In this case, the responsibility would be unfairly imposed on motorists to challenge the fines. At that time, the authorities implemented processes whereby all images are verified by a real human being before fines are issued so that innocent people do not end up being singled out as criminals.

Around the world, and here too, AI is also being used successfully in crime solving: AI in laboratories can help investigators with DNA tests and other analyses, especially when the samples are old or low-grade. degree. This may mean that historical crimes can be solved. AI can also be used to analyze case law data and

Another application of AI is predictive justice, which is the statistical analysis of vast amounts of case law data, to help magistrates and judges look back at previous court decisions if necessary when evaluating current sentencing options. AI can also predict recidivism by analyzing criminal justice-related data, allowing for more focused resource allocation.

Implementing AI

Like everything else, AI technology has its pros and cons.

Most experts agree that it can make a positive contribution, although they also caution that it is still an evolving technology, and the most important consideration regarding the law is that its use be legislated so that AI is applied ethically. , with human rights (such as privacy and non-discrimination) a primary consideration, and to reflect that it is only a tool, not a complete replacement for human skills, knowledge and experience.

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