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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Algorithm vs Data

On the use of data and algorithms to predict crime in the US data.  Extensive, largely non technical article.

It's Not the Algorithm, It's the Data  By Keith Kirkpatrick 
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 60 No. 2, Pages 21-23

" ... the debate continues over how to maintain these lower crime rates while addressing issues of fairness in the way communities are policed, as well as how to effectively and fairly use risk-assessment tools that can be relied upon by sentencing courts or parole boards.
There are two primary issues at stake: risk-assessment algorithms, which weigh a variety of factors related to recidivism, or the likelihood an individual will commit another crime and wind up back behind bars; and predictive policing, which has been described as using data analytics and algorithms to better pinpoint where and when a crime might occur, so police resources can be more efficiently deployed. Both issues are fraught with challenges—moral, logistical, and political—and opinions on whether they can be fairly and ethically utilized largely depend on how one views the nature of policing and the criminal justice system. .... " 

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