Blog Articles 106–110

Moral Questions on Predictive Policing

The Guardian ran an article this weekend discussing predictive policing and its future. Read it, it’s worthwhile.

I greatly appreciated a number of the moral concerns Morozov raises, and he does an excellent job of connecting the issue to much of its surrounding social context. He also is quite balanced in his approach, urging caution while being cognizant of the real, on-the-ground benefits of the technology.

Unfortunately, he falls into the same trap as Eli Pariser (The Filter Bubble) in ascribing algorithmic deficiencies to questionable allegiances of their creators:

But how do we know that the algorithms used for prediction do not reflect the biases of their authors? For example, crime tends to happen in poor and racially diverse areas. Might algorithms – with their presumed objectivity – sanction even greater racial profiling?