(Exclusive) Crime-prediction Tool PredPol Amplifies Racially Biased Policing, Study Shows
October 9, 2016

“Algorithms have taken hold over our lives whether we appreciate it or not. When Facebook delivers us clickbait and conspiracy theories, it’s an algorithm deciding what you’re interested in. When Uber ratchets up rush-hour prices, it’s the service’s algorithm kicking in to maximize profits. When ads for shoes you can’t afford follow you around the internet until you give in, it’s an algorithm tracking your course.

“Algorithms are also taking over policing. In cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Philadelphia, “predictive policing” algorithms comb through past crime data to tell officers which people and places are most at risk for future crimes. The most popular is PredPol, an algorithm developed by the Los Angeles Police Department in collaboration with local universities that takes in hard data about where and when crimes happened and then makes a “hotspot” map of where crime will likely happen next.”

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