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This AI algorithm supposedly predicts big-city crime before it happens. Is that a good idea?

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A group of social scientists at the University of Chicago claim to have invented a computer algorithm that can predict future crimes up to one week in advance with 90% accuracy.

They tested the model’s accuracy in eight major U.S. cities, each of which the team broke into small squares of about two blocks by two blocks in size. Starting with their home turf, Chicago, they studied historic data on violent crime and property crime inside each square, recording the changes and different patterns over time to devise predictions for future events. They say the model worked equally well in seven more cities (Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, and San Francisco), giving them an algorithm that boasts “predictive accuracy far greater than has been achieved in past,” they write.

Their tool departs from........

© Fast Company

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