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> The LAPD uses Palantir’s Gotham product for Operation Laser, a program to identify and deter people likely to commit crimes. Information from rap sheets, parole reports, police interviews, and other sources is fed into the system to generate a list of people the department defines as chronic offenders [...] The list is distributed to patrolmen, with orders to monitor and stop the pre-crime suspects as often as possible, using excuses such as jaywalking or fix-it tickets.

This is pretty much everything I was afraid of when it comes to this field - big data "prediction" being used to predispose people into crime, and by extension, algorithmic racism.




Minority Report. Literally.


For all we know, keeping a closer eye on previous criminals deters them from repeating their crimes. This strikes me as a very benign way of preventing a crime from happening in the first place. Rather than letting it happen, creating a victim and perpetrator, and then having to punish the latter yet again.

At the very least, this should give them the impression that policing is much higher than it actually is. Sounds like a good deterrent to me.


There is a lot of problems with this strategy when introduced into the real world; the chaotic vortex that it is.

The data can be wrong. This could be easily fixed if law enforcement agencies had to actually verify that the data was correct, but in practice this seems to rarely occur.

When people are told by a group that they are a thing, repeatedly, they eventually accept that they are that thing. If the cops keep harassing you for being a gangbanger when you have never been one your whole, you just happen to be associated with a few individuals who are, you eventually just move towards that group. Why not? The powers that be already think you are one and they treat you like one, which causes other people to treat you like one, so why not just be one?

You also need to consider the idea of enforcing crime that hasn't happened yet. That defeats the whole point of law enforcement. It is meant as a reactionary force, not an offensive force. Policing someone who has the potential for crime assumes that they will do it again, which makes it so your essentially treating them as guilty for something they haven't done yet. From my perspective, that seems to defeat the purpose of our legal system.

Anyway, I think I will end my rant here...




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