March 25, 2019

Can AI Help Predict Crimes Before They Happen?

“In the world depicted in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Report, policemen apprehend criminals before they commit crimes, based on predictions made by psychics called “precogs”.

Minority Report was set in the year 2054. But we may be getting there faster than we thought. New Scientist reveals that police in the UK want to predict serious violent crime using artificial intelligence (AI). Individuals flagged by the system will be offered interventions, such as counselling, to avert potential criminal behaviour.

The National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS) will use a combination of AI and statistics to try to assess the risk of someone committing a gun or knife crime. A prototype is expected by March 2019.

In this first-of-its-kind project in the world, the team in charge gathered more than a terabyte of data from local and national police databases, including records of people being stopped and searched, and logs of crimes committed. Around five million individuals, or about 7.5% of the UK’s population, were identifiable from the data.”

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