Researchers are using AI to predict crime

Researchers are using AI to predict crime

Scientists are looking for a way to predict crime using, you guessed it, artificial intelligence.

There are loads of studies that show using AI to predict crime results in consistently racist outcomes. For instance, one AI crime prediction model that the Chicago Police Department tried out in 2016 tried to get rid of its racist biases but had the opposite effect. It used a model to predict who might be most at risk of being involved in a shooting, but 56% of 20-29 year old Black men in the city appeared on the list.

Despite it all, scientists are still trying to use the tool to find out when, and where, crime might occur. And this time, they say it’s different.

Researchers at the University of Chicago used an AI model to analyze historical crime data from 2014 to 2016 as a way to predict crime levels for the following weeks in the city. The model predicted the likelihood of crimes across the city a week in advance with nearly 90 percent accuracy; it had a similar level of success in seven other major U.S. cities.

This study, which was published in Nature Human Behavior, not only attempted to predict crime, but also allowed the researchers to look at the response to crime patterns.

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