14Jan 2020

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Used To Predict Crime?

Some cities in our country are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools 
to determine if an individual is likely to commit a violent crime. We 
are not talking about AI being used to predict the possible criminal 
behavior of a random individual, but rather to predict the behavior of 
those accused of a crime awaiting trial. In essence, computers are being 
used to determine whether or not someone should be denied bail.

Even though the United States makes up only four percent of the world's 
population, it houses twenty percent of pre-trial prisoners. In other 
words, the United States holds more legally innocent people captive than 
any other place on the planet (excluding totalitarian regimes like North 
Korea). What AI supposedly does is factor in many aspects of an 
individual, such as criminal history, whether they rent or own, how long 
they have been employed and even whether or not they own a smart phone. 
The computer uses an algorithm to "predict" whether or not a person is 
likely to commit a violent crime if released on bond.

Most experts agree that this use of AI is flawed at the very least. Why? 
Well, violent crime is extremely rare, and the statistics for it are 
basically meaningless when applied to the entire population. Therefore 
any prediction that the AI may make is also meaningless. The odds of a 
first offender being released and committing a violent crime are very, 
very low to begin with.

If you have been accused of a crime or are being charged with one, you 
need a strong defense to protect your rights, including your right to 
bail. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, 
Shelburne or anywhere in the state of Vermont, and have been 
arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive 
and experienced legal defense.