The world of predictive policing an incarceration, based on crimes you might commit in the future, is almost here. From John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at rutherford.org:
“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse.”—Milton Friedman
You’ve been flagged as a threat.
Before long, every household in America will be similarly flagged and assigned a threat score.
Without having ever knowingly committed a crime or been convicted of one, you and your fellow citizens have likely been assessed for behaviors the government might consider devious, dangerous or concerning; assigned a threat score based on your associations, activities and viewpoints; and catalogued in a government database according to how you should be approached by police and other government agencies based on your particular threat level.
If you’re not unnerved over the ramifications of how such a program could be used and abused, keep reading.
It’s just a matter of time before you find yourself wrongly accused, investigated and confronted by police based on a data-driven algorithm or risk assessment culled together by a computer program run by artificial intelligence.
Consider the case of Michael Williams, who spent almost a year in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Williams was behind the wheel when a passing car fired at his vehicle, killing his 25-year-old passenger Safarian Herring, who had hitched a ride.
Despite the fact that Williams had no motive, there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, no gun was found in the car, and Williams himself drove Herring to the hospital, police charged the 65-year-old man with first-degree murder based on ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection program that had picked up a loud bang on its network of surveillance microphones and triangulated the noise to correspond with a noiseless security video showing Williams’ car driving through an intersection. The case was eventually dismissed for lack of evidence.